By Ekow Dontoh
Second-biggest grower’s output reached 909,493 tons by July 27
Favorable weather conditions boosted cocoa production
Ghana has recorded its biggest cocoa harvest in six years, according to two people familiar with the matter, after favorable weather conditions boosted output in the world’s second-biggest grower.
Graded and sealed deliveries since the beginning of the season in October reached 909,493 metric tons by July 27, said the people, who asked not to be named because the information isn’t public. That is the biggest since the 1,012,839 ton harvest for the whole of the 2010-11 season and compares with 778,043 tons produced in the 2015-16 crop, when severe desert winds damaged crops and affected rainfall.
Certified purchases for the first seven weeks of the so-called light crop, the smaller of the two annual harvests which started June 8, totaled 40,083 tons, said the people. Purchases for the main crop, which ended May 25, totaled 869,410 tons, said the people.
Noah Amenyah, a spokesman for the regulator, declined to comment when contacted by phone.
Output of the beans in Ghana and neighboring Ivory Coast, the top producer, has benefited from sufficient rains and a mild Harmattan — winds from the Sahara that bring dry weather and coolness to West Africa’s cocoa growing regions from December to February. Forecasts for a global oversupply have caused London prices to drop by more than a third in the past year.
Cocoa futures for September delivery dropped 1.9 percent to 1,563 pounds ($2,038) a ton at the close in London, extending losses for the most-active contract to 9.8% in 2017.
Ivory Coast’s regulator estimated that 70,000 tons of the countries beans will be smuggled to Ghana before the end of the season in September as farmers seek to benefit from higher minimum producer prices, a person familiar said July 4.