India mainly exports cashew nuts and very small quantities of cashew shell liquid. If cashew nuts are expensive, manufacturers will reduce the proportion of cashew nuts in a mix and increase the share of cheaper nuts. Other European countries that are large net importers of imported cashew nuts are the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain, Belgium and Poland. Cashew nuts thrive in the tropical climates of 20 countries in West and East Africa, where about 90% of the raw cashew nuts sold on the world market are cultivated.
Spain is also an important and stable importer of cashew nuts (Europe's sixth largest importer by volume). In view of the above, and on the basis of the increasing inclination of consumers to consume healthy foods, the European cashew nut market is expected to be driven by strong growth. That year, the main supplier of cashew nuts to France was Vietnam, with a share of 49%, followed by transit countries, the Netherlands and Germany (with 30% and 10%, respectively) and India (with 2%). However, lockdowns, healthy food trends and attractive prices boosted total consumption of cashew nuts.
Similarly, Mozambique and Tanzania have adopted a series of measures to protect and encourage local cashew nut processors. As in Germany and the Netherlands, the import of cashew nuts from the United Kingdom depends on supply from Vietnam. The Netherlands is the largest importer of cashew nuts in Europe and represents 29% of total European imports. While this seems to leave room for other suppliers, in reality these suppliers have a much larger share because additional quantities are imported from the Netherlands (23%) and Belgium (6%), which act as transit countries for Vietnamese and Indian cashew nuts.
The Netherlands and Germany are also important commercial centers with a significant re-export of imported cashew nuts. Demand for cashew nuts in Europe is stable, but import quantities sometimes fluctuate due to variable production in major supplier countries. Cashew nuts are also considered a substitute for dairy products and represent a popular savory snack. In the next five years, the European cashew nut market is likely to increase with an annual growth rate of 3 to 5%.
This has encouraged local processing, making Ivory Coast, Ghana's neighbor, the largest cashew nut processor in Africa, with a capacity of 70,000 metric tons per year.