The cocoa price in New York climbed to a nine-and-half-month high last week, to just shy of US$2,200/ton. Cocoa thus gained by nearly 7 per cent since the beginning of that week.
Commerzbank Research said the news from Côte d’Ivoire – by far the largest producer country – was the reason.
“Harvesting there is making very sluggish progress,” said Commerzbank. “Exporters are reporting significantly lower shipments to the ports.”
Apparently this has been the case ever since harvesting of the main crop began in October, the year-on-year discrepancy having even widened of late. For the entire quarter until the end of December, exporters envisage a crop volume of 830,000 tons, which would be 108,000 tons less than in the same period last year.”
Commerzbank said that excessive rainfall is to blame, as it has caused the spread of crop diseases like black pod and brown rot. There is no sign of any improvement in the next quarter, either.
Commerzbank said the crop in the March quarter “could turn out to be only half as high as last year” because of crop diseases.
“There are therefore rumours on the market that the current crop year 2017/18 could well see a global supply deficit,” Commerzbank concluded.