GHANA- COCOBOD, Ghana’s cocoa regulator, has revealed plans to roll 350,000 tons of cocoa beans delivery to the 2024/2025 season from the previous 250,000 tons because of poor harvests in a move expected to worsen the global chocolate market. 

The board revealed it pre-sold 785,000 tons of cocoa beans for the 2023/2024 season. However, the board is set to deliver only 435,000 tons. This is a significant drop in production compared to the 1 million tons of cocoa beans produced in the 2020/2021 season. 

Ghana typically sells about 80% of its crop in forward sales in structured loan agreements, which usually range between 750,000 and 850,000 tons. Cocoa bean harvests fell to 670,000 in the previous season as supply chain challenges began to take root. 

Ghana and Ivory Coast, the two largest cocoa producers in the world, have struggled with bad weather, disease, and illegal gold mining, which has negatively affected harvests and cocoa bean supply to the global market. The two countries have faced three consecutive years of poor harvests, contributing to soaring prices. 

The board also revealed farmers are smuggling more cocoa beans to Togo and Ivory Coast to sell at higher prices than COCOBOD’s purchasing price, which further limits the amount of beans available for delivery in the West African country. COCOBOD revealed Ghana has already lost 150,000 tons due to smuggling.  

COCOBOD also revealed Ghana’s cocoa export earnings have fallen by 49% in Q1 2024 to US$599.3 million because of these challenges despite soaring prices. 

With tons of forward sales missing from the 2023/2024 season, the board is struggling to secure forward sales for the next season. COCOBOD revealed it has only sold forward 100,000 tons for the 2024/2025 season.  

COCOBOD’s announcement is expected to exacerbate the current cocoa supply chain challenges further.  

However, COCOBOD announced plans to borrow up to US$1.5 billion for cocoa bean purchases in secured loans for the 2024/2025 season and compensate for low cocoa production. This loan is expected to provide farmers with favorable prices and inputs to encourage more efficient production in the next season. However, only one international bank has agreed to evaluate the feasibility of the structured loan. 

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