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Cocoa deficit trebled by ICCO for 2012/13

By Oliver Nieburg+

04-Dec-2013

Cocoa shortfall worse than previously feared
Cocoa shortfall worse than previously feared

The global cocoa deficit for the 2012/13 crop year was worse than previously expected, according to revised figures from the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO), which has tripled its estimate.

The ICCO previously said that demand outstripped supply in the last crop year (Oct 12-Sept 13) by 52,000 metric tons (MT), but it now puts the deficit at 160,000 MT.

The revision was driven by both lower global production and rising demand.

Production falls

Under the revised estimates, global production for 2012/13 was 3.93m MT, down 3.7% on the previous year.

Almost all cocoa-producing nations recorded lower cocoa yields compared to last year with the exception of Cameroon and Papua New Guinea. The biggest falls in production came in Brazil and the Dominican Republic.

The two largest growers, Ivory Coast and Ghana, which together account for almost 60% of global production, saw yields decline 2.8% and 5% respectively.

Ivorian yields

“However, cocoa bean quality improved greatly [in the Ivory Coast] during the year, following the stricter quality standards introduced under the sector reform,” said the ICCO in its latest quarterly bulletin.

Ivory Coast, the world’s top producing nation set a minimum price for farmers, which from 2 October was raised 25 CFA francs to 750 CFA francs ($1.55).

“Outlook for the next season is rather subdued, as both trees and farmers are ageing. In addition to the poor weather conditions, reinvestment is on the low side and the infrastructure is still inappropriate, but improving,” said the ICCO.

Grindings rise

Global cocoa grindings in the last crop year – an indicator of demand for chocolate – rose 2.4% to 4.05m MT.

More cocoa is grinded in the Netherlands than anywhere else in the world and it registered a 6% increase. The largest rise came in the UK, where the cocoa grind grew 15.4%.

Forecasted cocoa shortages are widely thought to be aggravated by rising demand for chocolate in Asia. However, the amount cocoa beans grinded in Asia and Oceania fell 3.2% in 2012/13, while grinds rose in every other continent.

Cocoa processing rose in cocoa-producing countries, particularly in Africa and Indonesia, and accounted for 43% of total world grindings in 2012/13. The Ivory Coast recorded the highest grinding levels in its history.

The ICCO will release its forecasts for the 2013/14 crop year in February 2014. In September, Laurent Pipitone, director of the ICCO's economic division, told this site that he was expected another small deficit that may have an impact on prices.

Rabobank forecast earlier this year a 75,000 MT for the 2013/14 season.

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