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Stop Cashew Smugglers, Traders Urge Govt

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Nigeria to expand Cashew Nut export by 2020
  • Stop Cashew Smugglers, Traders Urge Govt

The National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN) has raised the alarm over the invasion of the cashew nuts business. It urged the Federal Government to stop smugglers of the product for the traders’ sake.

The group said some unscrupulous businessmen had been depriving the country of huge revenue, urging the government to curb the trend.

According to NCAN, smugglers were making cashew nuts business difficult for traders.

Investigation revealed that over 50 per cent of cashew nuts produced in the country were being smuggled through Kwara, Oyo and Ogun states to Benin, Ghana and Mali, from where the nuts are exported to India and Vietnam.

A member of the group, Mr Ajayi Emmanuel, said Benin Republic, Ghana, Gabon and Cote d’Ivoire had become major markets where the crop fetches a premium in the international market for smugglers.

He alleged that the merchants receiving the smuggled commodity were branding Nigerian cashew as their own farm product, saying the illegal trend had weakened the nation’s export.

“Based on the activities of smugglers, the country lacks adequate tonnage of cashew going out through the land borders and because of the illegal trade, Nigeria has been losing huge sums of revenue.There is high concentration of smuggling of the product at the porous borders in Ogun, Oyo and Kwara states.

“The volume of the smuggled product is larger than those passing through the seaports legitimately,” he said.

He noted that this had affected the price structure of the commodity in the country.

He urged the government to intervene and block all the loopholes.

The exporter said the Federal Government should ban the smuggling of the product and asked the NCS and the NIS to enforce the law to create jobs for the youths.

Emmanuel explained that the neighbouring countries were earning the revenue from the product, which is supposed to come to Nigeria.

“The government should rise up and improve on the country’s border control. If there is proper control at the borders, the country would have proper data of the tonnage produced yearly, but right now, it is difficult to know the volume of cashew produced in the country,” he said.

Emmanuel said NCAN had its own taskforce to assist Customs and immigration in enforcing the law.

He recalled that in 2015, the country earned $253 million from 160,000 tonnes and, last year, cashew generated about $280 million to the economy.

Nigeria has capacity to produce 160,000 tonnes of cashew valued at N115.2 billion ($320 million).

Findings revealed that Vietnamese traders are interested Nigerian cashew nuts because they are of the highest quality in the West African.

But, there are indications that the country may only be able to supply more than 40 per cent of the total demand due to low capacity.

The price of the nuts has increased from $1,850 per ton to $2,000 since the beginning of the year.

The nuts are being demanded for the production of anti-bacterial preparations, varnishes, insecticides and car brake pads.

According to Vietnam Cashew Association (VCA), the global output dropped from three million tons to 1.5 million tons.

The association said at the moment, about two-third of the nuts in Vietnam’s cashew industry were imported.

A member of the association, Mr. Nguyen Duc Thanh, said: “The domestic cashew supply was not sufficient for processing needs in the first half of 2017, so the industry had to import from Nigeria and other West African countries.”

He noted that cashew processors were complaining that imported nuts were expensive, while the processed product prices remained unchanged, leading to low profit for them.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Crude Oil

Nigeria’s Crude Oil Production Falls for Second Consecutive Month, OPEC Reports

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Crude Oil

Nigeria’s crude oil production declined for the second consecutive month in March, according to the latest report from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Data obtained from OPEC’s Monthly Oil Market Report for April 2024 reveals that Nigeria’s crude oil production depreciated from 1.322 million barrels per day (mbpd) in February to 1.231 mbpd in March.

This decline underscores the challenges faced by Africa’s largest oil-producing nation in maintaining consistent output levels.

Despite efforts to stabilize production, Nigeria has struggled to curb the impact of oil theft and pipeline vandalism, which continue to plague the industry.

The theft and sabotage of oil infrastructure have resulted in significant disruptions, contributing to the decline in crude oil production observed in recent months.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) recently disclosed alarming statistics regarding oil theft incidents in the country.

According to reports, the NNPCL recorded 155 oil theft incidents within a single week, these incidents included illegal pipeline connections, refinery operations, vessel infractions, and oil spills, among others.

The persistent menace of oil theft poses a considerable threat to Nigeria’s economy and its position as a key player in the global oil market.

The illicit activities not only lead to revenue losses for the government but also disrupt the operations of oil companies and undermine investor confidence in the sector.

In response to the escalating problem, the Nigerian government has intensified efforts to combat oil theft and vandalism.

However, addressing these challenges requires a multi-faceted approach, including enhanced security measures, regulatory reforms, and community engagement initiatives.

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Crude Oil

Oil Prices Edge Higher Amidst Fear of Middle East Conflict

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Crude Oil

Amidst growing apprehensions of a potential conflict in the Middle East, oil prices have inched higher as investors anticipate a strike from Iran.

The specter of a showdown between Iran or its proxies and Israel has sent tremors across the oil market as traders brace for possible supply disruptions in the region.

Brent crude oil climbed above the $90 price level following a 1.1% gain on Wednesday while West Texas Intermediate (WTI) hovered near $86.

The anticipation of a strike, believed to be imminent by the United States and its allies, has cast a shadow over market sentiment. Such an escalation would follow Iran’s recent threat to retaliate against Israel for an attack on a diplomatic compound in Syria.

The trajectory of oil prices this year has been heavily influenced by geopolitical tensions and supply dynamics. Geopolitical unrest, coupled with ongoing OPEC+ supply cuts, has propelled oil prices nearly 18% higher since the beginning of the year.

However, this upward momentum is tempered by concerns such as swelling US crude stockpiles, now at their highest since July, and the impact of a hot US inflation print on Federal Reserve rate-cut expectations.

Despite the bullish sentiment prevailing among many of the world’s top traders and Wall Street banks, with some envisioning a return to $100 for the global benchmark, caution lingers.

Macquarie Group has cautioned that Brent could enter a bear market in the second half of the year if geopolitical events fail to materialize into actual supply disruptions.

“The current geopolitical environment continues to provide support to oil prices,” remarked Warren Patterson, head of commodities strategy for ING Groep NV in Singapore. However, he added, “further upside is limited without a fresh catalyst or further escalation in the Middle East.”

The rhetoric from Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, reaffirming a vow to retaliate against Israel, has only heightened tensions in the region.

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Commodities

Geopolitical Uncertainty Drives Gold Prices Higher Despite Fed Rate Cut Concerns

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gold bars - Investors King

As tensions simmer in the Middle East and concerns loom over Federal Reserve policy, gold continues its upward trajectory, defying expectations and reinforcing its status as the ultimate safe-haven asset.

The latest surge in gold prices comes amidst escalating geopolitical tensions in the Middle East.

Reports suggest that the United States and its allies are bracing for potential missile or drone strikes by Iran or its proxies on military and government targets in Israel. Such a significant escalation in the six-month-old conflict has sent shockwaves through financial markets, prompting investors to seek refuge in gold.

Despite initial setbacks earlier in the week, gold resumed its blistering rally, buoyed by the specter of geopolitical uncertainty.

On Wednesday, the precious metal witnessed its most significant decline in almost a month following a hotter-than-expected US inflation readout.

This unexpected data led traders to recalibrate their expectations for Federal Reserve interest rate cuts this year, causing the yield on 10-year Treasuries to surge above 4.5%.

However, gold’s resilience in the face of shifting market dynamics remains remarkable. Even as concerns mount over the Fed’s rate-cutting trajectory, the allure of gold as a safe-haven asset persists.

Prices hover just shy of a record high reached earlier in the week, propelled by robust buying from central banks.

Market analysts interviewed by Bloomberg anticipate further gains in gold prices, citing continued geopolitical tensions and strong momentum in the market.

The precious metal’s near-20% rally since mid-February underscores its enduring appeal as a hedge against uncertainty and inflationary pressures.

At 9:54 a.m. in Singapore, spot gold rose 0.3% to $2,341.58 an ounce, signaling continued investor confidence in the metal’s resilience.

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index, meanwhile, remained relatively unchanged near its highest level since November.

Silver, often considered a bellwether for precious metals, held steady after reaching a three-year high, while platinum and palladium also registered gains.

As the world navigates through a complex web of geopolitical tensions and economic uncertainties, gold remains a beacon of stability in an increasingly volatile landscape.

Its ability to weather market fluctuations and maintain its allure as a safe-haven asset reaffirms its timeless appeal to investors seeking refuge amidst uncertainty.

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