Cashew nuts commonly known as cashews are produced by a tropical evergreen tree known as cashew tree. An ordinary cashew tree can attain a maximum height of 46ft while a dwarf tree grows as high as 20ft. The dwarf trees mature early, and therefore they are more profitable than the normal ones. Cashew nuts were initially indigenous to northeastern Brazil, and the Portuguese colonists began exporting them during the 1550s. Currently, the leading producers of cashews are Ivory Coast, India, Nigeria, and Vietnam. Cashew nuts production almost reached 790,000 metric tons in the 2017/2018, which is a 32% growth in the last decade. West Africa produces about 46% of the global cashew nuts, with Cote d’Ivoire producing 48% of the crops followed by Guinea-Bissau and Nigeria. Other top producers include Vietnam, India, and Tanzania.
Top 3 Cashew Consumers in the World
Other than being one of the biggest cashew nuts producers in the world, India is also one of the leading importers of cashews. The total amount of cashews India imports has grown by 3,139 metric tons from 2006 to 2016. Due to their cashews processing capacity, India imports cashew seeds from Africa. In 2016, 24% of the cashew India imported came from East Africa and 75% came from West Africa. India is the biggest cashews consumers in the world with a consumption rate of 0.503 pounds per capita. In 2016, Indians consumed over 301,719 metric tons which is a 17.3% increase as compared to 2015 when the consumption rate was 0.45 pounds per capita.
2) United States
The United States has been the top importers of cashews for the last decade. The United States imported about 147,367 metric tons in 2016 which is a 26.1% growth in the last decade. The United States imports most of their cashews from Brazil, Vietnam, and India. The total amount of cashews imported by the United States increased by 32% in the last four years from 111,322 metric tons in 2012. Brazil, India, and Vietnam accounted for 92% (6%, 11%, and 75% respectively) of the United States cashew imports. The second biggest cashew consumers in the world are the Americans at 0.98 pounds per capita. The total amount of cashews consumed by Americans has increased since 2012 (109,448 metric tons) to 2016 (143,256 metric tons) which is a 30.9% growth.
Germany is the third top consumers of cashew nuts at 0.97 pounds per capita in 2016. Germany consumed over 35,930 metric tons of cashews in 2016, which is a 37% growth as compared to 2012. Other than being a top cashew consuming country, Germany is also the third biggest importer of cashews right behind the Netherlands. Germany imported 47,397 metric tons in 2016 which is a 203% in eight years. Germany imports cashew nuts from Vietnam, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, India, and Nigeria. The primary source of cashews in Germany is the Netherlands who import them from Brazil, Africa, and Asia.
The Benefits Of Cashews
Cashews are nutritious nuts which are high in antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and proteins. Cashews are processed into cashew butter or cheese, and also spread on a sandwich.The shells of the cashew seeds produce multiple derivatives which are used in numerous applications including arms production, paints, waterproofing, and lubricants. The pulp from the cashew apple is processed into astringent fruit drink, sweet or it is distilled in alcohol.