News of the decline of Ivorian cocoa production might be premature. I have reported earlier that a consensus estimate put Ivorian output for the current cocoa year at 1-1.15 million tons, quite a bit below the 1.4 million tons the country had achieved only a few years ago. But that consensus is no longer holding.
According to several sources, cocoa deliveries to port are running well ahead of last year’s numbers–as much as 75 percent. Since October 1, the beginning of he new cocoa years, deliveries to San Pedro have reached 335,000 tons, almost 200,000 tons more than last year. Deliveries even exceed the five year average for the same time period by 30,000 tons. The Reuters graph below shows deliveries for the past five years. On exporter predicts a harvest of 1.4 million tons, a return to the previous high.
Growers and exporters credit the right weather conditions for the increase in output and deliveries. Over the past weeks, rain has fallen in just the right quantity and at the right intervals, saturating the soil for the coming dry season. A sufficient amount of sun between the rains allowed farmers to dry their fermented beans and kept tree diseases like black pod in check. According to one farmer in Daloa, the good weather will create larger beans for the remainder of the season.
The news has not yet impacted cocoa prices which continue to hover around $3,400/ton.