Cocoa production in Côte d’Ivoire continues to lag further behind the record level reached during the 2018/19 crop year. Indeed, as at 7 June 2020, cumulative cocoa arrivals, since the start of the 2019/20 crop season, were seen at 1.881 million tonnes, down by 6.9% from 2.021 million tonnes reached during the same period a year earlier. In Ghana, the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) published data showed that Ghanaian graded and sealed cocoa for the 2019/20 crop year decreased by 1.6% year-on-year to reach 714,523 tonnes on 15 May 2020.
The recent forecasts for the 2019/20 cocoa season published by the ICCO Secretariat in its latest issue of the Quarterly Bulletin of Cocoa Statistics reveal anticipations of a lower growth in grindings compared to the previous cocoa season. Grindings are expected to reduce to 4.783 million tonnes, down by 78,000 tonnes. This lower forecast reflects that the coronavirus pandemic is undermining demand in the usual mature markets (Europe and North America) as well as Asia (the continent that is reputed for witnessing stronger growth in processing activities). It is projected that processing activities will increase by 5% to 1.201 million tonnes in Asia and Oceania whereas a growth of 0.5% to 1.022 million tonnes is anticipated in Africa. On the contrary, in the Americas, processing activities are forecast to contract by 3% to 873,000 tonnes while a 2% decline to 1.687 million tonnes is envisaged in grindings activities for Europe as compared to the level attained in the same period of the previous season.2