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Ghana Cocoa Premiums Said to Be Boosted By Higher Ivorian Price

The premium paid by buyers of cocoa from Ghana, the world’s second-largest producer, climbed over the past month, boosted by rates for Ivorian beans, according to three traders with direct knowledge of the trade.

Ghanaian cocoa in the European market is 90 pounds to 105 pounds ($142 to $165) a metric ton above the price on the NYSE Liffe exchange in London, according to the traders, who declined to be identified because they’re not authorized to speak to the media. The premium was 70 pounds to 90 pounds on Jan. 6. In the past week, premiums for Ghanaian beans were little changed.

The crop in Ivory Coast, the world’s largest producer, will shrink 21 percent in the season started in October to 1.34 million metric tons, according to Marex Spectron Group, a London-based broker. Cocoa prices jumped 8.5 percent last month in London on speculation of crop damage from hot, dry Harmattan winds. In Ghana, cocoa production will drop 12 percent to 845,000 tons, Marex Spectron said on Feb. 3.

“Lack of rain as well as severe Harmattan-related weather conditions, old tree stocks and poor husbandry practices were reported to have had a negative impact on production,” the London-based International Cocoa Organization said in a report this week, referring to the Ivory Coast.

Ivorian cocoa in the European market is 55 pounds to 70 pounds a ton above the price on the NYSE Liffe exchange, the traders said.

Cocoa for March delivery settled 3 percent lower at 1,411 pounds a ton in London.

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