Ghana cocoa purchases up 378,738 tonnes in December 2009

The Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod), the national regulator of the cocoa industry in Ghana says the country’s cocoa purchases was 378,738 tonnes by December 24, 2009 an increase of 0.5% from the previous season.

A Reuters news report citing Cocobod data says though the December 24 figure representing the first 10 weeks of the season was up, industry sources said they expected purchases since then to be much lower, as farmers have held onto beans in expectation of higher producer prices as set by the government.

The report quoted an unnamed source as saying, “Weekly returns have been sluggish over the past weeks … indications are that the farmers are withholding the beans in expectation of new producer prices.”

Ghana is the world’s second biggest cocoa producer, after Ivory Coast. Last year, Ghana raised $1 billion from 23 banks including Societe Generale and Standard Chartered Plc to be used to purchase cocoa from local farmers.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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