|Workers process cashews for export at Quang Son Limited Company in the central province of Phu Yen. — VNA/VNS Photo Dinh Hue
HCM CITY (VNS) — Executives from the Ivory Coast cashew industry met with their Vietnamese counterparts in HCM city yesterday to discuss issues affecting bilateral trade and strengthen ties between Ivorian cashew exporters and Vietnamese processors.
Nguyen Duc Thanh, chairman of the Viet Nam Cashew Association, said the country is the world's largest cashew processor and exporter, processing about 1.3 million to 1.4 million tonnes annually.
But raw cashew supply is not enough to meet processors' demand and so the country imports large volumes of raw nuts.
Dang Hoang Giang, Vinacas deputy chairman, said Viet Nam imported 860,000 tonnes last year, mainly from African countries.
Ivory Coast was the largest supplier, shipping 302,441 tonnes, but there were some issues affecting the importation of the raw nuts, including delays in shipment, he said.
Bach Khanh Nhut, deputy director of quality checking company Vinacontrol in HCM City, said: "The quality of raw cashew nuts imported from Ivory Coast has improved significantly. However, some sellers still supply low-quality products, including sprouted and deformed nuts with rot, decay, and mould, which caused serious losses to Vietnamese buyers."
He urged Nigerian exporters to properly check moisture levels of raw nuts before loading them into containers.
Vietnamese importers at the meeting asked Vinacas and the Council of Cotton and Cashew of Ivory Coast (CCA) to help them work directly with Ivorian suppliers to cut costs. The imports are now done through third parties.
Malamine Sanogo, general director of CCA, said his country has implemented many measures to improve quality and productivity.
Ivory Coast is the world's largest cashew producer, producing 720,000 tonnes last year, he said.
Most of the raw nut was exported, he said, adding, "We processed just 45,000 tonnes of the total output, so we want to call on Vietnamese firms to invest in cashew processing in Ivory Coast.
"Our productivity is low at around 400kg per hectare. So we want to co-operate with the Vietnamese side to improve productivity."
The Ivorian and Vietnamese cashew industries are complementary, and so co-operation would result in a win-win situation, he said.
Viet Nam's cashew productivity is around 1.4 tonnes, Thanh said, adding that "Viet Nam is willing to help Ivory Coast in raising its cashew productivity from 400kg per hectare to one tonne." — VNS