ICCO Forecasts 547,000mt. Deficit in 2023/24 Cocoa Output

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The International Cocoa Organisation (ICCO) has projected global cocoa output for the 2023/24 season to shrink by 11% or more than 547,000 metric tonnes.

The latest forecast published by the organisation is contained in the production year’s first-quarter bulletin, reflecting February 2024 data.

“Compared to the 2022/23 season, global cocoa supply is anticipated to decline by almost 11% to 4.449 million tonnes,” the ICCO stated, with global demand projected to “decrease by almost 5% to 4.779 million tonnes.”

Meanwhile, revised estimates for global cocoa production updated the 2022/23 crop output to 4.996 million metric tonnes, up from 4.953 million metric tonnes.

The ICCO warned that “significant declines in production are expected from the top producing countries”—Ivory Coast and Ghana.

Cocoa arrivals at Ivorian ports are reported to have seen a 34 percent year-on-year decrease, and in Ghana, graded and sealed cocoa purchases have declined by 35 percent compared to the previous year.

Industry watchers have cast doubt on Ghana attaining its projected 2023/24 crop output of 820,000 MT, instead predicting a 40% deficit.

Cocoa production in Ghana, the world’s second-largest producer, is bogged down by disease, illegal gold mining, climate change, and smuggling—induced by lower farmgate or producer prices.

Both Ghana and Ivory Coast have reported significant losses of cocoa beans through illegal cross-border trade, with anti-smuggling campaigns barely yielding success.

Again, cocoa production in the top two producer nations is envisaged to reel under the detrimental effects of unfavourable weather conditions and diseases.

The challenges, the ICCO observed, have resulted in the low availability of cocoa beans on the market and have led to “significant increases in cocoa prices.”

The International Cocoa Organisation’s February report observed that “with costs of raw materials increasing, this is likely to affect the operations of processors.”

Last week, Swiss cocoa and chocolate giant Barry Callebaut announced plans to cut 2,500 jobs and also shut down two processing factories to increase efficiency.

In Ghana, the supply shortage has also forced some cocoa processing companies to shut down operations with fears of imminent layoffs.

Source: cocoa post

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