Ghana’s cocoa production drop hasn’t affected global forecast - ICCO

The International Cocoa Organization’s (ICCO) says a drop in Ghana’s cocoa production has not affected the International Cocoa Organization’s (ICCO) forecast for global output.

Farmers break cocoa pods in Ghana's eastern cocoa town of Akim Akooko September 6, 2012. REUTERS/Kwasi Kpodo

The ICCO projected that the cocoa global output for the 2018/2019 production year is 4.8 million tonnes. This was mentioned by the Executive Director Michel Arrion.

The second highest cocoa production in the world earlier forecasted production of 900,000 tonnes for the 2018/2019 production which was the same as the previous season.

However, this projection was revised downwards to about 850,000 tonnes because of swollen shoot disease and a lack of rain.

“We’re at the end of the first part of the season. We don’t have all the data, but we think that certain decreases in Ghana could be compensated by higher production elsewhere, such as Ivory Coast,” Arrion said in an interview at ICCO headquarters in Abidjan.

Meanwhile, output in Ivory Coast, the world’s top producer, is expected to reach 2.2 million tonnes this season.

According to Arrion, Ghana would continue to produce a bit less cocoa in the short term due to swollen shoot. To curb this in the long run, the Ghanaian government and the Cocoa marketing board (Cocobod) have launched a programme to cut down infected trees and replant the 400,000 hectares affected by the disease.

Arrion said that despite the challenges in Ghana, the ICCO is happy with a sharp rise in global cocoa processing in the first quarter of 2019, driven by strong demand from the chocolate industry. Arrion was optimistic that the trend would continue to the end of the cocoa season.

“This is very good because it’s an indicator of consumption,” he said. “We see the grindings keeping at high levels by using this year’s production but also existing stocks.”

In February, the ICCO forecast there would be a global cocoa surplus of 39,000 tonnes in the 2018/19 season.

“Stocks will continue to gradually decrease,” Arrion said.

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