The ICCO daily price for cocoa beans was $2,378 per ton on 5/9/2013 down from $2,417 on 5/8/2013.
Farmers in Ivory Coast, the world’s biggest cocoa producer, say they can’t sell supplies from the country’s mid-crop harvest because dry weather left beans too small to meet minimum requirements.
Grindings in the U.S., a measure of demand, rose 5.8% to 125,887 metric tons from a year earlier, as of March 31,2013. Demand for cocoa could be slipping in Europe, the world's largest chocolate consumer. European Cocoa Association reported a 6.2% drop in the region's cocoa grindings in the fourth quarter of 2012. Cocoa grindings, which measure how much cocoa is processed, are seen as a barometer of demand for chocolate.
The amount paid to farmers in the Ivory Coast, or the so-called farmgate price, is now 700 CFA ($1.37) down from 725 CFA in March, compared with 900 CFA or equivalent in Ghana and Cameroon. There are concerns that a fall in the farmer price could lead to larger deficits in future years as growers turn away from the crop. While farmers receive around the same price for rubber as they do for cocoa, the former produces a crop for almost 10 months of the year, compared with just six months for cocoa. A well-maintained rubber plantation will also typically outlast a cocoa field.
Cocoa arrivals at ports in Côte d’Ivoire reached 1,026,000 tons by March 31,2013 compared to 1,047,364 tons for the corresponding period of the previous season. Cocoa purchases reported by the Ghana Cocoa Board were 601,303 tons, representing a decline of 16%. With cocoa exports from Indonesia declining, analysts are of the view that more pressure will be on West Africa.
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The Netherlands imports US$2.1 billion of cocoa beans (42 % of the EU imports) and is the world's top cocoa grinding (37 % of EU grinding).
The 2012/13 season opened in Ivory Coast on Oct. 3 under a sweeping sector reform aimed at improving farmer incomes by fixing a guaranteed farmgate price of 725 CFA ($1.41)/kg, and a port price of 805 CFA ($1.59)/kg. The government of Ghana decided to reduce its share of the export duty drastically in order to raise the producer price. The official purchasing price for cocoa beans is 3,392 cedis/ton or $1,795 per ton. The price difference between these two countries will likely lead to smuggling.
Ivorian officials have remained tight-lipped about the process (twice-daily auctions as part of a major reform of the cocoa sector) and have not officially announced the volumes sold, prices paid or the number of buyers at each auction. Police and army roadblocks, used to extort money from trucking companies, add to the costs of transporting cocoa beans along Ivory Coast's main roads. These illegal "fees" or bribes are 10 times higher than 2 years ago under the former regime and the current government cannot acknowledge that.
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