A global cocoa surplus is expected in the 2018/19 season, Informa’s Agribusiness intelligence said on Thursday, with record production driven by favourable weather in West Africa.

Global cocoa production was seen hitting a record high of 4.85 million tonnes, leading to a surplus of 71,000 tonnes for the October/September season, it said in a report.

The projected surplus was slightly higher than the median forecast of 30,000 tonnes in a Reuters poll earlier this month. The ICCO’s most recent estimate for the 2017/2018 season was a small surplus of 22,000 tonnes.

“Massive cocoa production is almost certain this year and as a result we may expect a very volatile market in 2019 as higher-than-expected production pressures cocoa prices,” Agribusiness intelligence analyst Sergey Chetvertakov said.

Top producer Ivory Coast was projected to have a crop of 2.12 million tonnes, up from the prior season’s 1.96 million with number two Ghana predicted to produce 950,000 tonnes, up by 47,000 tonnes.
The report also noted that Europe and North America face saturated local markets and the growth rate of grinding was slowing down compared to the two previous seasons.

Credit: Reuters

(Reporting by Nigel Hunt Editing by Alexander Smith)