Global cocoa prices have rallied in recent weeks, reaching their highest since 1977, due to weather concerns and poor harvest forecasts from major producers.
Reuters has reported that cocoa volumes arriving at Cote d’Ivoire ports are expected to drop 28.5% year-on-year in the first three months of the 2023/2024 season due to erratic weather conditions, according to the country’s cocoa farmers, exporters, and pod counters.
Cote d’Ivoire’s main crop is expected to be harvested this month through to March 2024, but already there has been a slowdown in bean arrivals from farms because of late and abundant rainfall.
"The harvest is not late. There is simply not enough cocoa at the moment and it is going to be a difficult season," an anonymous source told local media.
Analysts are predicting that annual cocoa output for Cote d’Ivoire is expected at around 1.9 million tons this season compared to almost 2.3 million last season.
Cote d’Ivoire also announced it has raised the price it pays cocoa farmers for their main crop to 1,000 CFA francs ($1.61) per kilogram for the bigger of two harvest seasons in 2023-24, up from 900 CFA francs paid in 2022-23 – a rise of 11%.
Cocoa advanced this year to a 12-year high on the commodity markets after poor weather and disease concerns dampened the crop outlook in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana, the world’s top cocoa producers.
Farmers in Cote d’Ivoire demanded a 44% increase in the farmgate price after the market rally, which would enable them to boost investment in their farms. Ghana raised farmers’ pay by 64% in September, partly to help counter bean smuggling to its neighbour, after the nation’s currency weakened this year, Bloomberg reported.