French shipping major resumes service for cashew export from Guinea-Bissau to India and Vietnam

Every June, the major French shipping company CMA CGM resumes Bijagos Shuttle container service every two weeks (for three to four months), connecting by sea the small West African tropical country of Guinea-Bissau with the Spanish Algeciras (about 3,500 km). so what? In India, one might ask. This customized sea container service has been exporting huge quantities of cashew nuts from Guinea-Bissau to India and Vietnam.

In 2022, Guinea-Bissau will export 231,000 tons of ore cashew Nuts.

CMA-CGM said the service dedicated to Asia will run from the port of Bissau to Algeciras every two weeks from mid-June 2023 until the end of the cashew season.

The Bijagos Shuttle service will be operated entirely by CMA CGM with the deployment of two 1,700 TEU (Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit) vessels. The first ship will be the LION to leave Bissau on June 24. The line said a large stock of 40 containers was available in Bissau.

This product (service) is unique during the seasonal export of cashews from Bissau to India and Vietnam. The line said it had dedicated hubs in Mundra, Port Klang and Singapore.

Once the small pick-up service reaches Green Island, the containers containing the cashew nuts will be transferred to flagships (large ships that offer direct service to various global destinations) on the westbound EPIC Europe Pakistan India Consortium (EPIC) service to reach Jebel Ali Ports, port successor; Karachi. Nhava Shiva and Mandra.

Other major shipping lines such as Maersk and MSC also provide different modes of transport, including intermodal, to export cashew nuts from Guinea-Bissau to India.

a Business line A report in November 2022 said that cashew nuts are by far the most important cash crop in Guinea-Bissau, accounting for 60 percent of the country’s exports. It is the main source of income in rural areas. The area under cashew cultivation is estimated at 223,000 hectares with an annual production of 230,000 tons, making Guinea-Bissau the fifth largest producer in the world. Most of the cashews produced in Guinea-Bissau are exported to India for processing.

The report said Beta Group, the Kerala-based food company that owns the Nut King brand, will set up an industrial unit in Guinea-Bissau, the West African country, for its cashew business. Then it announced $100 million in that country over five years.

Guinea-Bissau exported 231,000 tonnes of raw cashew nuts in 2022 and of that about 75 percent is to India and the rest to Vietnam, says Rajmohan Pillai, chairman of Thiruvanthapuram-based PETA Group, owners of the Nut King brand.

According to the India-Guinea-Bissau Bilateral Relations Document issued by the Ministry of Economic Affairs in 2021, the cashew crop accounts for more than 90 percent of the export earnings of Guinea-Bissau and almost the entire cashew crop (about 98 percent) is exported to India for processing.