This month, The International Cocoa Organisation (ICCO) Expert Working Group on Stocks (EWGS) has met in London, UK, to examine the level of world cocoa bean stocks.

It is composed of professionals in the cocoa field who meet once a year, at the invitation of the ICCO, to evaluate and analyse the results of its yearly study of cocoa supplies of cocoa bean stocks held in storage facilities worldwide.

The study has been conducted every year since 2000 and intends to increase transparency in the cocoa industry. The outcomes of the current study showed that world cocoa bean stocks are estimated to have increased to 1.5 million tonnes as at the end of the 2018/19 cocoa season (30 September 2019).

While the ICCO Secretariat maintains that so far, its supply deficit estimate of 21,000 tonnes for 2018/19 as released in its newest QBCS, it might modify that figure in their next Bulletin due at the end of February 2020, taking into account the outcome of this.

ICCO International Cocoa Organization

The EWGS notes that a gap of 163,000 tonnes exists amongst the annual survey of cocoa stocks held in warehouses worldwide and the ICCO’s statistically derived stocks figure. The review conducted by the EWGS amid its meeting resulted in the conclusion that the survey results underestimate current world stocks due to the growth of stocks kept in areas not reporting to the ICCO survey. The most significant space of unreported stocks was identified as Asia.

Significantly, the organisation noted that this year there was a significant cutback in responses to the survey. Therefore, a more substantial proportion of the stock had to be estimated.

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