Cocoa output to fall below use – Industry Group

cocoaCocoa production will fall short of demand in the 2008-09 season as output declines in Ivory Coast and Ghana, the world’s leading growers, International Cocoa Organization statistician Laurent Pipitone said.

“Many analysts are concerned if production has reached a peak in Ivory Coast,” Pipitone said in an interview in London yesterday. In Ivory Coast, the largest grower, production probably will drop 4 percent for the season that began Oct. 1, Brussels-based financial-services company Fortis said last month.

Arrivals of cocoa at ports in Ivory Coast have dropped between 30 percent and 40 percent this season from a year earlier, Pipitone said.

Ghana, the second-biggest grower, will also have a smaller crop, Pipitone said. Fortis last month forecast 8 percent average annual growth in the country’s output since 2004-05 and a 4.3 percent gain in the current season to 720,000 metric tons.

The London-based International Cocoa Organization expects to make an estimate of the deficit next month, Pipitone said. Fortis put the gap at 45,000 tons.

Cocoa for March delivery climbed 28 pounds, or 1.6 percent, to 1,764 pounds ($2,639) a ton at 2:11 p.m. on London’s Liffe exchange. Prices gained 71 percent last year.

Source: Bloomberg

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