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Global Cocoa Market Faces Significant Deficit: ICCO Releases New Report

Ghana Cocoa
Ghana Cocoa

The International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) has unveiled its latest Quarterly Bulletin of Cocoa Statistics, presenting a concerning outlook for the 2023/24 cocoa year.

Revised estimates indicate that the global cocoa market is poised for a substantial deficit due to notable declines in production and grinding activities.

Key Highlights from the Report:

  • Production Decline: Global cocoa production is projected to drop by 11.7%, decreasing to 4.461 million tonnes from last year’s 5.047 million tonnes. This sharp decline is mainly due to reduced outputs from major cocoa-producing countries.
  • Grinding Activities: While cocoa grinding activities in importing countries have shown initial resilience, overall grindings are expected to fall by 4.3% to 4.855 million tonnes. The decrease is more pronounced at the origin, where value addition investments have slowed because of cocoa bean shortages.
  • Supply Deficit: The deficit for the 2023/24 season is forecasted to reach 439,000 tonnes, a significant rise from the 76,000 tonnes deficit recorded in the previous season. This increase is attributed to ongoing supply constraints and lower production levels.
  • Trade Impact: Global exports of cocoa beans and semi-finished products measured in bean equivalent decreased by nearly 6%, totaling 2.36 million tonnes from October to December 2023. This decline reflects the reduced availability of cocoa from leading producing regions in West Africa.
  • Stock Levels: End-of-season cocoa stocks are anticipated to drop by 24.8%, settling at 1.328 million tonnes. The stocks-to-grindings ratio is also expected to decline to 27.4%, down from 34.8% the previous year.

Market Dynamics:

The report also reviews price developments on international markets for cocoa beans during the first quarter of 2024. Despite record-high cocoa prices, demand has remained steady, though grinding activities at the origin have faced challenges due to bean shortages.

The ICCO’s comprehensive report includes statistical data on trade, production, and stock levels, covering annual data from 2020/21 to 2022/23 and quarterly statistics up to December 2023. The report notes that these figures may be subject to revisions in future bulletins as more data becomes available.

This summary highlights the key points from the ICCO’s latest report, emphasizing the significant changes and challenges in the global cocoa market as detailed in their May 2024 bulletin.

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