Kuala Lumpur: There may be a global cocoa deficit of 103,000 tons in the year to September, the head of the International Cocoa Organization said on 13 March.
The projection was larger than initially expected, Executive Director Jan Vingerhoets said in an interview here. He spoke after the London-based organization’s members met to discuss the state of the crop.
Prices have risen 25% in the past year in New York on concern that the harvest in the Ivory Coast, the world’s largest producer, will decline. The commodity is used to produce cocoa butter and cocoa powder for beverage and confectionery products.
“A little deficit is not a problem,” Vingerhoets said. Still, the organization was not yet certain about the forecast “because there are indications that the dry winds that blow in from the desert in West Africa are less than expected”.
Cocoa for May delivery on the New York Board of Trade rose $11, or 0.6%, to $1,801 a metric ton. Cocoa on the Euronext.liffe exchange in London was unchanged at 1,030 pounds ($1,990.42) a ton.
The impact of the African winds on cocoa output in Nigeria, Ghana and the Ivory Coast would be fully clear by April, Vingerhoets said.
The organization’s members represent 85% of global cocoa output, and 60% of world consumption, according to information on its web site. The exporting members were listed as Brazil, Cameroon, the Ivory Coast, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Gabon and Ghana. They also included Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela.