Osun State, a key cacao region in Nigeria, experienced a long and dry harmattan season. Temperatures have been and continue to be extremely high – except for a short period of time in early March.
In particular, the daytime temperatures have been particularly high, with maximum temperatures reaching values 2 – 2.5C above the norm, near or at record-high levels throughout most of this dry season (and worse than during the infamous 2015/16 dry season).
As a consequence, this region has likely lost a great deal of the canopy, which means it will take the trees longer than usual to recover production once the rains start again. In addition, we expect the pod load for the next months to have been reduced through forced ripening.