In its Quarterly Bulletin of Cocoa Statistics released on Friday, the organization said it now expected a supply/demand deficit of 38,000 metric tons. The ICCO had previously projected a 17,000 MT deficit.
World production was revised downwards by 64,000 MT and is expected to now reach 4.168m MT, while anticipated world grindings were cut 43,000 MT to 4.164m MT.
African cocoa output is expected to fall 7% due to dry hot spells, inadequate rainfall and Harmattan winds. Cocoa production in Asia & Oceania is forecast to be flat and up 3% in the Americas.
Ghana output to decline
The world’s number two producer is set to be the hardest hit, says the ICCO.
“Although higher farmgate prices in Ghana have discouraged smuggling of cocoa to Côte d’Ivoire this season, the outlook for the country’s cocoa production remains uncertain,” said the organization in its bulletin.
Ghanaian cocoa production is expected to fall 22% on the previous season due to inadequate rainfall, late application of fertilizers, and the curtailment of the government’s mass spraying program.
The ICCO added Ghanaian cocoa faced increasingly competition from mining for land, water resources and labor.
Projected cocoa grindings were also revised upwards for 2014/15 in Belgium, Côte d’Ivoire, Ecuador and Turkey, but the ICCO now expects lower grindings in Netherlands, UK, Russia, the U.S. Ghana and Malaysia compared to earlier estimates.