Halfway through the cocoa campaign, experts are beginning to envisage the year 2023, in terms of volume, and therefore price. At this stage, the main harvest, which started in October in West Africa, is looking much better than expected in the two market giants, Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana.
A surprise start to the campaign
Experts did not expect to see such arrivals of beans in the ports: producers have to deal with orchard disease, but also with an unusual drought that has affected Ghana for two or three years. There is also the ever-increasing competition from gold panning which is pushing Ghanaian cocoa farmers to abandon their plantations. Hence the forecasts below the announced figures.
According to the latest report from the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO), the Ivorian ports received 11% more beans in early January compared to last year. In Ghana, the jump is spectacular, mid-December purchases increased by 76%.
These figures are still to be confirmed with the volumes processed between now and the end of March, when the first harvest will end, and with the production of the intermediate harvest which begins in April: it could be revised downwards because still temperatures that are too high for the season, in the cocoa-growing regions and the lack of rain.
Consumption does not increase
But whatever happens, the figures already communicated are not harbingers of rising prices. The slight increase in prices observed over the past year could ultimately only be temporary, according to Michel Arrion, executive director of the ICCO.
The latest bean grinding statistics should not change its fears of an upcoming price drop, because in the last quarter of 2022, demand did not increase significantly.