Cocoa Crashes 30%

Cocoa, one of Ghana’s most important export commodities futures, ended 2011 down by about 30 percent. ICE March cocoa settled the last day of 2011 up $26 at $2,109 per tonne, closing the year down by 30.5 percent, the spot contract’s biggest annual drop in 12 years. According to Reuters report, it was one of the worst performers on the Commodity Research Bureau, pressured by abundant West African supplies. London May cocoa closed 15 pounds higher at 1,397 pounds a tonne. “Demand will come back on line in anticipation of the Easter buying season,” said Keith Flury, senior soft commodities analyst with Rabobank, adding that he expected cocoa prices to move sideways in early 2012, with industry buying kicking in. As at the end of November 2011, cocoa earned Ghana $1.9 billion, according to a Bank of Ghana report. But the seeming uncertain outlook means Ghana could lose some cash from one of its most important export commodities. Meanwhile, raw sugar futures ended 2011 as one of the weakest performing commodities of the year on the Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index, tumbling 27.5 percent on investor liquidation and increased supplies. ICE benchmark raw sugar futures closed the day lower on investor selling and book-squaring on the last trading day of 2011, pressured by big crops in the EU, Russia, Ukraine, India and Thailand. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana (COCOBOD), Tony Fofie has reiterated the board’s resolve to ensure that farmers are rewarded adequately no matter the situation on the world market. He also said COCOBOD would not compromise on quality standards and added that they had put in the necessary measures to ensure that Ghana continues to make the sector vibrant. “Ghana prides itself as the benchmark quality of its cocoa, so it is tantamount for us to protect it from foreign, lower quality supplies.”