Third quarter cocoa grind statistics from the European Cocoa Association showed that the German cocoa grind helped European rates rise 14% on last year. This brings the total European cocoa grind to 377,388 tonnes for this quarter.
European Cocoa Association cocoa grind rates are derived from figures provided by major chocolate producers, including Kraft Foods, Ferrero and Nestle.
Torben Erbrath, managing director of BDSI’s chocolate and cocoa division, told ConfectioneryNews.com that the rise in German cocoa production, the largest increase in recent years, was down to a variety of factors.
“One reason could be the situation in the Ivory Coast. Stability in the region and a good harvest has had a positive impact for grinders,” he said.
Ivory Coast is the main producing nation for the German market. The political situation in the West African state has calmed since post-election violence which sparked in 2010 ended earlier this year.
Erbrath said that while the industry was suffering from a sugar supply problem its cocoa production figures had improved exports.
“The German industry is very export orientated which is another factor,” he continued.
“The figures are also a result of increases in the grinds of several companies.” He pointed to the impact of Delfi Cocoa, a grinder owned by the Petra Foods Group , which had expanded its production capacity from 35,000 tonnes to 100,000 tonnes a year since its plant in Hamburg was modernised in 2009.
Erbrath said the rise in European grinding figures was a good sign for the cocoa sector as a whole, but he was reluctant to make predictions on the outlook for the future.