Ghana chocolate export earnings rose by 16.6% in 2019 reaching US$13.4m

GHANA – Ghana, one of the world’s largest producer of cocoa earned US$13.4m from export of chocolate and other food preparation containing cocoa in 2019.

According to a report by Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), this was a 16.6% increase from earnings of 2018 which stood at US$11.5m and a further rise from US$5.3m of 2017.

The authority has highlighted the major market for Ghanaian chocolate during the period under review was Nigeria, accounting for 87% of the total exports worth US$11.8m.

Nigeria has maintained its dominance as a key destination for Ghana’s chocolate since 2018, which was previously held by 2017 France.

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Ghana was not the only one serving the Nigerian market as China curved out a 10% market share alongside Netherlands taking 9%, USA 3.1% and South Africa 0.5%.

Despite Ghana’s export accounting for 71.7% of the Nigeria market, the country’s closest competitor China is ripping big in the global chocolate market raking in over US$331m in 2019.

Other markets that the Asian country serves include Hong Kong 22.1%, Korea Republic 11.8%, Australia 8.5% and Philippines 7.8%.

Meanwhile, Netherlands’ export for 2019 was US$ 2.04bn with its largest export destinations to include Germany 21.5%, France 12%, UK 10.1% and Belgium 10%.

USA on the other hand exported chocolate worth US$ 1.66bn in 2019. The American destination markets were Canada 37.7%, Mexico 13.2%, Korea 4.3%.

From the global comparison, although Ghana was among the largest producers and exporters of cocoa beans in 2019 with an average of 850,000 tonnes, their position in the export of chocolate and related products was insignificant in the global market.

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Global demand of chocolate and related products stood at US$ 28.62 billion in 2019

Ghana Export Promotion Authority

That segment of the value chain was dominated and controlled by Germany earning US$ 4.9bn, Belgium US$ 3.1bn, Italy US$ 2.1bn, Netherlands US$ 2bn and Poland US$ 1.8bn in 2019.

Global demand of chocolate and related products stood at US$ 28.62bn in 2019 indicating huge opportunities in the confectionery sector which Ghana can lucratively tap into.

However, the West African country has not been able to fully venture into the segment as a major proportion of its processing capacity only adds limited value to the raw beans, turning it into cocoa paste for instance.

This and other intermediate cocoa derivatives are used as inputs for chocolate makers, and most of it is thus utilized in this way by foreign firms.

The partial value-addition can be attributed to the low per capita consumption of chocolate and cocoa products in the country which currently stands at 0.52kg, far below the consumption rate in Europe and Americas of around 6.6-kilogram per capita.

To change the narrative, Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) in partnership with Ghana Tourism Authority, Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, cocoa processing companies and other stakeholders in the cocoa industry have set aside the National Chocolate week to be celebrated every February of the year, to whip up national enthusiasm for consumption of products.

In addition, the country is continuing to advocate for local manufacturing of cocoa products, setting a target to process 50% of its cocoa output from the current 40%.

Ghana is on the road to achieving this target as it currently has seven major cocoa processing firms with an estimated processing capacity of about 500,000 metric tonnes, and the construction of a new 50,000 metric tonne capacity processing factory is underway in the Western region.

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