Everything about nuts
Even though cashews come from Brazil, they’re mainly produced in Asia and Africa. In this article, we will examine the world’s top cashew producers, exporters, and importers.
Which Countries Produce the Most Cashews?
Accounting for about half of all cashew production, Vietnam is currently the world’s top cashew grower. India comes in second place, followed by the Ivory Coast, The Philippines, and the West African nation of Benin.
Most of the world’s cashews come from these countries, with only a small amount coming from other places.
Are cashews produced in the United States?
Cashew trees are only grown by hobbyists in the United States, and no commercial cashew production takes place in this country. Most of North America is considered inhospitable to cashew trees. The only places where cashew trees can grow in the US are Hawaii, Florida, and Puerto Rico.
Which Countries Export the Most Cashews?
As you will see, the top cashew producers are not necessarily the main exporters. That list changes considerably. In 2020, the top 10 countries exporting cashew nuts were:
- Ivory Coast
Cashews are an important export crop for many of these countries, providing much-needed income and employment.
It’s interesting to see European countries on this list, such as the Netherlands and Germany. This is because they are home to large processing plants that buy raw cashews from producing countries, process them, and then export the finished product. Similar to other nuts and seeds, these two European countries have a large industry devoted to processing and exporting cashews.
Which Countries Import the Most Cashews?
Vietnam is also the world’s top importer of cashews, with around 23% of all global imports. These are the leading cashew importing countries in 2020:
- United States
- United Kingdom
- United Arab Emirates
Imports do not mean consumption
Importation should not be confused with consumption. Just because a country imports a large amount of cashews doesn’t mean its citizens consume them all. There’s no denying the demand from North American and European consumers is huge. But some of those countries have industries around cashews, and they will export a considerable amount of what they import.
Again, Germany and the Netherlands are great examples of this. As we discussed before, these countries are two of the biggest exporters. Since they don’t produce cashews themselves, they have to import them to be able to export them.
To make things more interesting, the majority of Germany’s cashew imports come from the Netherlands, which imports them from Africa, Asia, and South America. Therefore, it’s fair to say that a significant amount of the cashews imported by the Netherlands is not destined for Dutch consumers.
As with most agricultural products, it is not surprising to see developing countries at the top of the cashew production list. It’s also unsurprising to see developed countries entering the export and import lists.
The fact that European countries are also involved in the processing and exporting of cashews points to the global demand for this nut.