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Cocoa Growers in Indonesia Pick About 60% of Beans, Group Says

Cocoa farmers in Indonesia, the world’s third-largest producer, harvested about 60 percent of this year’s estimated crop of 500,000 metric tons, according to the Indonesian Cocoa Association.

The harvest will be completed by September or October this year after flowering was delayed by rains in some areas, Dakhri Sanusi, the association’s secretary general, said in a phone interview from Makassar, South Sulawesi. Farmers finish picking most beans typically by July every year, he said. Rising domestic demand may cut exports as the Southeast Asian producer has installed grinding capacity of about 600,000 tons, he said.

Futures have risen 6.8 percent in New York this year, increasing cost at Hershey Co. and Barry Callebaut AG, the largest market of bulk chocolate. Indonesia’s cocoa output may climb 15 percent to 20 percent in 2013 after growers boosted planting, John Bako Baon, a senior research scientist at the Indonesian Coffee and Cocoa Research Institute, said June 13.

Exports from Central and South Sulawesi provinces dropped 52 percent in the first half to 31,173 tons, the association said July 3. Sulawesi island, the country’s main growing region, represents about 75 percent of bean exports.

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