Cote d’Ivoire’s cocoa farmers are confident of a strong October-to-March main crop – despite below average seasonal rains and they welcomed the recent dry spell, saying it would help to avoid diseases and insects on crops.
They also said the country’s warehouses were full of bags of beans waiting for buyers offering attractive prices.
"So far, we are optimistic that there will not be a shortage of beans until January at least," Francis Amon told Reuters. Amon farms near the centre-western region of Daloa where 21.4 millimetres of rain fell last week, 8.9 mm below the five-year average.
Reuters reported similar growing conditions were experienced in southern regions of Bongouanou and Yamoussoukro, where rains were below average.
In the western region of Man, farmers welcomed the drier spell after two consecutive weeks of heavy rains that triggered fears of damages in plantations.
Cote d’Ivoire’s Le Conseil du Cafe Cacao, the country’s cocoa regulatory agency, is due to set a new farmgate price ahead of the 2021-2022 season that starts on 1 October.
"The new marketing season will start strong here if the farmgate price is interesting and respected," Fofana Mori, who farms near the western region of Duekoue, told Reuters.
A beneficial rainy season has also been reported in Ghana, the second-largest producer of cocoa after Cote d’Ivoire. There were 102% more rains in August than in the previous 10 years.
In its latest Monthly Cocoa Market Report for August 2021, the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) said it is expecting record global production resulting in a supply excess of 230,000 tonnes anticipated for the 2020-21 cocoa year.
Focusing on the developments of the September 21 futures contract prices, two distinct sequences emerge, the ICCO reported.
Indeed, a bullish stance was observed during the first 19 days of the month, while a virtually flat trend was seen over the past 10 days of the month under review. Over 02-19 August, the upward trend seen in the prices of the September 21 contract was triggered by various fundamental factors, it said.
“On the one hand, the main cocoa growing areas of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana were reported to have witnessed less conducive meteorological conditions (i.e. below normal rainfall; which is detrimental to soil moisture and thereby harmful for cocoa yields). On the other hand, signs of improvement in the demand for chocolate and cocoa in conjunction with the announcement of the Côte d’Ivoire government to stop the sales of exports licenses for the 2021/22 cocoa season contributed to fuelling the price rallies.”
In London, prices of the September 21 futures contract were bolstered by 5% from US$2,245 to US$2,364 per tonne while in New York they climbed by 13% from US$2,355 to US$2,664 per tonne.