Gloomy cocoa forecast as bad weather hits supply

By Catherine Boal

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Cocoa, Agriculture

The International Cocoa Organisation (ICCO) has published its first
cocoa forecast for 2006/07 in which global supply is expected to
dip.

The bulletin, available from this week, includes revised estimates for the 2005/06 period on world production, grindings and cocoa bean stocks. Last year's estimate for world production reached 3,592 thousand tonnes but the ICCO have since upped the figure to 3,675. For the coming period however this figure is predicted to drop by 5.5 per cent to 3,472 thousand tonnes. Similarly pessimistic forecasts have been noted elsewhere with investment bank Fortis forced to increase its 2006/07 cocoa deficit figure from 131,000 tonnes to 215,000 last month due to unfavourable weather in West Africa. Unseasonably dry weather in the area has raised fears that crops will be damaged and production from the major growing region will fall. With supplies dipping and factors such as weather, disease and civil unrest having an increasing impact on the production chain, many companies and government bodies are becoming involved in helping cocoa farmers at grass roots levels. This week, the Netherlands donated 655 million CFA francs to Cameroon cocoa farmers to improve the co-operative structures throughout the farming communities and improve their marketing position. And members of the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) teamed up recently to extend their five-year plan to help 150,000 cocoa farming families in Ghana through programmes related to education, health and labour conditions. The ICCO bulletin examines factors affecting the industry and comments on crop and demand prospects for leading countries as well as giving a review of statistics on price, exports, imports and consumption. The Quarterly Bulletin of Cocoa Statistics Volume XXXIII​ can be ordered from the ICCO secretariat.

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