Oversupply Forecasts Dip Cocoa Prices

A fall in cocoa prices on the world market is weighing on revenues after Ghana missed its production target.

The Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod) announced it was GH¢10 billion ($2.2 billion) in debt.

Global cocoa prices have fallen in recent times due to forecasts for oversupply, experts say.

COCOBOD was unable to meet revenue targets for the 2015-16 season, as the total output of 778,000 metric tons of beans fell short of an earmarked 850,000 tons.

Noah Amenyah, a spokesman for the regulator, who told Bloomberg Thursday by phone, said the board so far suffered $1 billion in revenue losses in the current season that started in October as future contract prices fell by more than a third since the middle of last year.

Information on ICE Futures U. S., indicated that the price has declined 6.4 percent this year after cocoa for September delivery rose 0.3 percent to $1,989 a tonne on Thursday in New York.

Last year, the regulator undertook projects, assuming costs would be covered by output and price assumptions that didn’t materialize.

At the same time, it exceeded its usual annual spending of $150 million on roads in cocoa-growing areas by almost five times, Amenyah said.

While the board is facing mounting debts, the regulator is ruling out cutting farmers’ pay.

“Certain things will have to be delayed because of the liquidity problem,” Amenyah said.

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