Ghana is expected to produce between 730,000 and 750,000 metric tonnes (MT) of cocoa beans in the 2014/15 (October-September) crop season, analysts and market watchers have predicted.
This will be far lower than the targeted 850,000 metric tonnes by Cocobod.
“The disappointing outturn in Ghana has yet to have a serious impact on international cocoa prices, which have fallen by 13.5 per cent since the start of the season, reflecting the strong main crop in Côte d’Ivoire, the mixed outlook for world demand and disappointing grinding data earlier in the year”, the International Cocoa Organization said. Cocoa price is presently hovering around $2,885 per tonne.
The report however said the fall in Ghanaian production could drive up international prices in the lead-up to the new season in October, should demand recover over the coming months as West Africa’s cocoa season starts to tail off.
Ghanaian bean purchases reached 541,000 MT by April 9, 22 percent down on the same period last season. This has compelled Cocobod to revise its target for the main crop (October to June) to 720,000MT, down from an initial 780,000 MT earlier in the season.
The report explained that the sharp drop in output is believed to have been the result of an outbreak of the black pod disease that swept the country, following heavy rainfall in the months leading up to the main crop.
It added that losses were high as farmers did not have access to fungicides to treat cocoa trees, while fertilizer usage was low. “The drop in use of inputs reflects the difficulty farmers continue to have with raising financing, along with the winding down of Cocobod’s subsidized fertilizer scheme, which is being revamped under the World Bank-led 10-year sector strategy.”
Presently, Ghana is the third largest producer of cocoa beans behind Ivory Coast and Indonesia.
Source: The Finder
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