Global cocoa prices remain ‘bullish’ according to latest ICCO figures

The International Cocoa Organisation, (ICCO), has released its latest figures revealing that stock market trading prices for the key agricultural commodity remain ‘bullish’, maintaining near record highs experienced in recent months, reports Neill Barston.

As the group noted, prices increased by 12% in London from US$3,676 per tonne to US$4,102per tonne, while cocoa futures stock market prices in New York rose by 9% from US$3,500 per
tonne to US$3,822 per tonne.

Moreover, as previously reported by Confectionery Production  comes amid a period of potential crisis for the sector, as key confectionery and cocoa groups are reported to have held back from paying the present high values of cocoa Рleading to industry observers, including the Voice Network NGO stating that in failing to engage with the market at it stands, companies were exhibiting significant double standards over their stated sustainability goals of supporting farmers.

As the ICCO highlighted, the latest cocoa price figures come off the back of two years of supply deficits, with pre-season optimism having been impacted by conditions within West Africa. This includes unseasonal heavy rains preventing the drying of beans that the ICCO noted has led to degraded bean quality. Black pod diseases and swollen shoot virus due to the excess rains have been reported in cocoa regions.

Furthermore, the organisation observed that floods have also rendered major roads in some cocoa regions to be difficult to access. Furthermore, the ICCO said that Ghana is yet to release its graded and sealed purchases of beans. Notably, its producer price is said to be about US$211 tonnes above that of Ivory Coast, leading to cross-border trading potentially impacting on the volumes of crops reaching ports in the region.

During October 2023, prices of the nearby cocoa futures contract averaged US$3,844 per tonne and ranged between US$3,578 per tonne and US$4,122 per tonne in London. In New York, the nearby contract averaged US$3,604 per tonne and ranged between US $3,396 per tonne and US$3,853 per tonne (Figure 1). These prices were way above the prices recorded in the same period of the previous season.

In terms of global demand, the ICCO cited figures from the European Cocoa Association (ECA), National Confectioners Association and the Cocoa Association of Asia (CAA), to demonstrate that total grindings for the 2022/23 season dropped by almost 4% from 2,844,132 tonnes in the 2021/22 season to 2,739,982 tonnes.

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