Ghana may be seeing the lowest cocoa crop it has produced in 12 years, as its plantations suffered from severe droughts and damage from illegal gold mining. As the world’s second largest producer of cocoa, this development could affect cocoa prices as reduced supply is likely to put upward pressure on market prices. However, other market forces, including weaker demand, determine the extent of the impact.
Early data from anonymous sources suggests that the country will harvest approximately 685,000 t of cocoa beans in its mid-crop season, which runs from July to September. In comparison, Ghana’s crop in the previous year reached a record of around 1.05 m t.
Cocobod, Ghana’s cocoa regulator, previously predicted an output of 950,000 t. It has since revised this estimate after the country was struck with unexpectedly long dry spells early on. The situation is worsened by small-scale gold miners who have reportedly destroyed over 19,000 ha (about 2 %) of cocoa plantations with their illegal mining.
In comparison with Ghana’s record-breaking cocoa production just a year ago with already 965,493 t in June, it has only produced 641,000 t in the same month this year. Current estimates are for Ghana to reach 850,000 t of cocoa output in October, the start of the next season.