Rosaura Gazzola, Alcido Elenor Wander, Jussara Gazzola:
Cashew Nut Almonds: Nutritional and Market Aspects


1Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA), Secretary of Administration and Strategy (SGE), Brazil
2Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA), National Rice and Beans Research Center (CNPAF), Brazil
3Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC), Center of Health Sciences, Brazil

Having the Brazilian Northeast as its origin, cashew trees (Annacardium occidentale L.) are being grown in tropical areas of Asia, Africa and America since several decades, for different purposes, considering its flower, fruit, timber and peel. From its fruits, the cashew nut almond is being largely used in human nutrition due to its favourable composition. This study presents information related to the composition in different fatty acids of cashew nuts almonds, and the human daily intake needs of those components and the contribution of cashew nuts almonds in its supply, as well as an analysis of its production and world exports during the last 20 years. The statistical analysis evidenced a disadvantage of Brazilian cashew nut almonds in the world market. As third world exporter of cashew nuts almonds, Brazil had a growth rate of 3.32% ($\pm$0.85%) in its exports while its main competitors Viet Nam and India, who were the first and second world exporter of cashew nut almonds, had export growth rates of 6.47% ($\pm$0.55%) and 12.35% ($\pm$2.91%), respectively. Considering the production amount, again Brazil is disadvantaged, with a growth rate of cashew nut production of 2.99% ($\pm$1.47%), while Viet Nam's and India's growth rate reached 12.25% ($\pm$1.33%) and 3.98% ($\pm$0.39%), in the same order. In Brazil, the commercialisation of cashew nuts (almonds and cashew nuts) is geographically and numerically dispersed. Additionally, the dispersed production of cashew nuts, the high concentration by middlemen and buyers at Brazilian processors and their traditionalism in keeping this market structures, partly explain the high commercialisation margins obtained by the actors. High commercialisation margins of middlemen in cashew nut market limit profitabillity to farmers as well as the high commercialisation margins at the cashew nut almonds level limit the profitabillity to cashew nut processors.

Keywords: Cashew nuts almonds, commercialisation, human nutrition, production

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Contact Address: Alcido Elenor Wander, Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA), National Rice and Beans Research Center (CNPAF)Rodovia GO-462, km 12, 75375-000 Santo Antonio de Goias, Brazil, e-mail:
Andreas Deininger, November 2008