The latest Cocoa statistics released by the International Cocoa Organisation predict that the global supply of Cocoa will drop by 5%.

The ICCO have just released their 2021/22 Cocoa figures forecast, alongside revised estimates for world production, grinding and stock of Cocoa beans for 2020/21. Compared to the previous season, we expect a 5% dip in global supplies of Cocoa, to 4.955 million tonnes. 

We reported earlier this year that the ICCO estimated there were 212,000 tonnes of surplus Cocoa in the world. This figure has been revised in the latest report, now at 215,000 tonnes – comparatively, the forecast for the coming 2021/22 season is currently at a deficit of 181,000 tonnes.

The news will be a concern for those chocolate and confectionery brands who benefitted from robust trade through the pandemic. Covid-19 has brought about major instability in just about every area of the industry, particularly in relation to shipping and logistics. As always, the risk is moved down the value chain and stops with the farmers, who are at the mercy of events beyond their control.

The ICCO reported that despite a relatively mild Harmattan, the main West African Cocoa crop is suffering from the extreme dryness, resulting in a slow start to the current season. That information, however, might need to be updated as Climate42 recently detailed in their newsletter. 

Southwesterly winds brought moisture-rich air, increasing local humidity levels to just below average in the Ivorian hinterland, near average over the Ivorian coastal regions and southwestern Nigeria and even slightly above average over the Ghanaian cocoa-growing regions since mid-February.

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The weather is anticipated to improve in time for the mid-crop, though it is not expected to make up for the less than ideal conditions so far. Global Cocoa production for the current season will therefore be less than earlier predicted.

This news will undoubtedly add to the struggles of Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire Cocoa producing communities, who are also pressured with poor weather conditions,  and focus around issues of sustainability and new EU deforestation regulations. 2022 is so far proving itself to be a difficult year for the chocolate industry, with complex challenges on several fronts.

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