ICCO reports cocoa supply uncertainty

Flooding in West and Central Africa have resulted in uncertain supply and demand of cocoa, the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) reports, affecting Côte d’Ivoire in particular.

In Côte d’Ivoire, the floods have reported to have restricted transportation of cocoa beans from the farms to the ports and is being speculated as the main reason for year-on-year cocoa arrivals witnessed during the first few weeks of the 2022/2023 season seen at the country’s ports of exports.

On 6 November 2022, the arrival of cocoa beans in Côte d’Ivoire were reported at 348,000 tonnes, a 23% marked decreased compared with 452,000 tonnes recording during the same time last year. A reduction in cocoa yields is expected if torrential rainfall increases, the ICO say, as soil nutrients will be washed away and this will exacerbate current issues surrounding increasing fertiliser prices.

Following a recovery in grindings in 2021/2022 following on from economic recovery experienced from the Covid-19 pandemic, there have been “mixed results” posted by members of the European Cocoa Association (ECA), Cocoa Association of Asia (CAA) and the National Confectionery Association (NCA), the latter of which held 56% of the world share in grindings in 2021/2022.

Cocoa processing activities have increased year-on-year in Europe and Southeast Asia but dropped in North America. The ECA released data indicating that cumulative grindings in Europe increased year-on-year by 2.68% from 1,434,631 tonnes to 1,473,084 tonnes. Total grindings in the US witnessed a year-on-year decline of 3.44% from 483,078 tonnes to 466,451 tonnes according to quarterly statistics published by the NCA.

During November 2022, total prices of cocoa were observed to be slightly up in London by 2%, compared with the previous month of October were prices were lower in London and the US. In London, prices were at an average of US$2200 per tonne, an 11% decrease of last year’s figures of $2473 per tonne. The ICO report that low cocoa prices could be attributed to the large quantities of cocoa beans harvested in upcountry areas of Côte d’Ivoire.

Heavy rains in the main cococa growing areas in West Africa are raising concerns over a potential outbreak of the black pod disease which could prove detrimental to the volume of the 2022/2023 cocoa year main crop.

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Caitlin Gittins
Editor, International Confectionery
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