Main crop harvest exceeds total output of two previous years
Increasing output weighs on prices as supply beats demand
Ghana has recorded its biggest cocoa harvest in three years, according to two people familiar with the matter, after better weather conditions boosted output in the world’s second-biggest grower.
Graded and sealed deliveries from the so-called main crop, the larger of two annual harvests, reached 812,153 metric tons by May 25, said the people, who asked not to be named because the information isn’t public. That compares with a combined 778,043 tons for the whole of the 2015-16 season, when severe desert winds damaged crops and affected rainfall.
Cocoa output in Ghana and neighboring Ivory Coast, the top producer, has benefited this year from early rains and a mild Harmattan — winds from the Sahara that bring dry weather and coolness to West Africa from December to February. Prices for the chocolate ingredient have dropped more than 30 percent in London in the past year, as analysts predict a large global surplus for the season ending in September.
Ghana Cocoa Board spokesman Noah Amenyah declined to comment on the crop size.
Ghana has reverted to counting production from its two annual harvests separately for the first time in three years. Main-crop purchases ended May 25 and the smaller light crop will be harvested between July and September, Amenyah said earlier this month.