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Ghana To Delay More Cocoa Deliveries As Supply Crisis Worsens

Ghana, a major player in the global chocolate industry, is facing a significant shortfall in cocoa delivery for the current (23/24) season

The world’s second largest cocoa producer Ghana is looking to delay delivery of up to 350,000 tons of beans to next season due to poor crops, in a further worsening of the outlook for the global chocolate industry.

Chocolate makers around the world are hiking prices after the cost of cocoa skyrocketed this year, following the three years of disappointing harvests in Ghana and Ivory Coast, the powerhouses behind 60% of the world’s cocoa production.

Previously, the market anticipated Ghana would postpone delivery of around 250,000 metric tons of cocoa beans, equivalent to about half of its current harvest.

However, Ghana’s cocoa regulator, Cocobod, has tempered expectations. They acknowledge plans to defer some deliveries but emphasise that the volume won’t be as high as the estimated 350,000 tons.

The country’s cocoa crop has been ravaged by adverse weather, bean disease and illegal gold mining, which often displaces cocoa farms.

Ghanian farmers are also smuggling more beans to neighbouring countries to sell them at higher prices than the state purchasing price, further eroding what little crop is available for delivery in Ghana.

According to sources familiar with the situation, Ghana previously sold 785,000 tons of cocoa beans for the current 2023/24  (October-September) season, but due to lower crop yields, they will likely only be able to deliver around 435,000 tons.

Ghana regularly sells one year forward about 80% of its crop – which usually totals 750,000-850,000 tons.
Ghana’s cocoa production has been on a downward trend. Last season, the crop yield plummeted to around 670,000 tons, a significant drop from previous years.

This year, predictions are even more grim, with expectations hovering around a meager 500,000 tons.

The industry and traders are bracing for continued struggles, fearing a lack of significant rebound even in the next season.

The International Cocoa Organisation expects global cocoa production will fall 10.9 per cent to 4.45 million tons this season.

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