The International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) has released its Cocoa Market Report for March 2023, which shows that Ghana has produced more cocoa than Ivory Coast for the first half of the 2022/23 crop season.
According to the report, Ghana’s purchases of graded and sealed cocoa beans reached 566,846 tonnes by 9 March 2023, an 18 percent increase from the same period of the previous season. In contrast, Ivory Coast’s cumulative arrivals of cocoa beans at ports were 1.779 million tonnes by 31 March 2023, a 4.8 percent decrease from the previous season.
The report states that the difference of 89,000 tonnes in Ivory Coast‘s ports arrivals and the increase of 85,360 tonnes in Ghana’s purchases resulted in a slightly negative net effect on the total supply of cocoa beans from the world’s top-two cocoa producers. The total supply for the first half of 2022/23 was estimated at 2,345,846 tonnes, slightly down by 0.2 percent compared to the previous season.
The report also notes that the current situation may change as the mid-crop progresses. However, it indicates that Ghana has overtaken Ivory Coast in cocoa production, a remarkable development in the global cocoa market.
Cocoa industry analysts have commented that this is a significant achievement for Ghana, which has been implementing various initiatives to boost its cocoa production and quality. Some of these initiatives include modern farming techniques, better access to credit and markets, increased investment in infrastructure, free seedlings, subsidised fertilisers and pesticides, training for farmers, elimination of child labour, and guaranteed minimum price for cocoa beans.
However, the report also highlights some challenges facing the cocoa industry, such as climate change and disease outbreaks, which have affected cocoa production in recent years. The report urges more investment in research and development to address these challenges.
The report also shows that cocoa bean stocks held in Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) Futures licensed warehouses in Europe and the United States are high compared to the previous season. However, they have declined compared to the levels seen at the start of the 2022/23 season.
Regarding futures price developments, the report shows that prices of the front-month cocoa futures contract were higher year-on-year on both the London and New York markets in March 2023. The average price in London was US$2,553 per tonne, up by 12 percent compared to March 2022. The average price in New York was US$2,778 per tonne, up by 8 percent compared to March 2022.
Source: The Independent Ghana