Cocoa production is on track to fall more than had been expected, but consumption has disappointed more leaving the world facing a small deficit than had been thought.
The International Cocoa Organization cut its forecast for world output of the bean in 2011-12, which ends next month, by 28,000 tonnes, citing a bigger-than-expected drop in African production from last season’s record levels.
“Production is expected to drop drastically in Africa as weather conditions return to being typical of the season,” the ICCO said.
The forecast for output in Ghana, which suffered “disappointing weather which affected pod development”, was cut by 30,000 tonnes to 860,000 tonnes.
Expectations for the Cameroon and Nigerian crops were also trimmed, after insect attacks, to a little over 200,000 tonnes, leaving them close to being overtaken by Brazil and Ecuador, for which extra area has improved prospects.
In Brazil, “recent new planting, in states like Para in the north, is paying off as trees turn productive, raising output there,” the organisation said.
ICCO cocoa data 2011-12, change on last estimate and (on year)
Production: 3.962m tonnes, -28,000 tonnes, (-8.1%)
Grindings: 3.941m tonnes, -52,000 tonnes, (+0.4%)
Surplus: -19,000 tonnes, +24,000 tonnes, (last season surplus was 341,000 tonnes)
Stocks-to-use ratio: 44.5%, +1.1 points, (-0.6 points)
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