Cocoa Output to Fall in Ghana, Ivory Coast, ICCO Forecasts

Cocoa production in Ivory Coast and Ghana, the world’s two top suppliers, will fall this year because of dry weather in both countries and a civil war in Ivory Coast, the International Cocoa Organization said.

Global cocoa production in the 2011-2012 growing season will be 71,000 metric tons short of demand, unchanged from the February forecast, Jean-Marc Anga, the group’s executive director, told reporters today in Guayaquil, Ecuador, at the close of ICCO’s annual meeting.

A five-month conflict in Ivory Coast, following a disputed presidential election in November 2010, led to a cocoa-export ban which drove prices to a 32-year high in March 2011. Dry weather in the two West African nations is adding to supply problems, Anga said today.

Ivory Coast is “highly unlikely to meet the same level this year,” Anga said. “The same with production in neighboring country Ghana, they are affected by the same climatic conditions and production will also go down.”

Cocoa production in Ivory Coast will decline to about 1.3 million metric tons during the season after reaching a record 1.56 million tons a year earlier, Anga said. Output in Ghana will be 970,000 tons. The harvest in Indonesia, the world’s third-biggest producer, should reach 500,000 tons.

The ICCO is “very optimistic” about demand for the bean, as well as cocoa butter and powder, as consumption increases in emerging markets including China and India, Anga said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nathan Gill in Quito at ngill4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at dcrofts@bloomberg.net

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