Global Report: Cocoa Market Overview 2023

Foodcom Experts
Global Report: Cocoa Market Overview 2023
Table of contents
  • Shipments to Ivory Coast ports fell by 7.4% in the first quarter of 2023, resulting in a market debt of an estimated 200,000 tons.
  • Despite the supply disruptions, prices for cocoa pulp and natural cocoa butter remained stable in the first half of the year.
  • Excessive rainfall in the fourth quarter of 2023 led to a 33% drop in deliveries to the ports of Côte d’Ivoire, indicating structural and environmental issues in the cocoa sector.

The cocoa market is experiencing rapid growth, driven by increasing interest in the health benefits of cocoa and rising demand for high-quality chocolate. This market, estimated at 45 billion dollars in 2022, is expected to grow to 67 billion dollars by 2032, at a growth rate of 4% per year. Rising prices and raw material availability issues underline the importance of sustainable production and ethical supply chains in the face of global challenges such as climate change and social inequality.

Q1 2023

The start of the year on the cocoa market was marked by pronounced challenges, particularly in Côte d’Ivoire, where a 7.4% decline in port deliveries was recorded, resulting in 1,859,000 tons being delivered by the end of April compared to the previous year. The problems experienced by Ivorian exporters in fulfilling their supply contracts for cocoa beans have led to a significant market debt, estimated at around 200,000 tons.

In Ghana, although deliveries to the ports have increased, the results of the last season are expected to be 10-15% below the average of the last four years. Despite these problems, prices for cocoa products remained stable, with cocoa liquor and natural cocoa butter holding at levels of around €4400/MT and €6000/MT respectively. The EU recorded a record quarter for processed cocoa, signaling steady growth.

Q2 2023

In the second quarter, the downward trend continued with a 5% annual decline in deliveries to Côte d’Ivoire, resulting in a total supply of 2,068,000 tons. The expected surplus of beans turned into a deficit of more than 250,000 tons, which has further exacerbated the problems of ensuring an adequate supply of beans to the market. Despite an increase in supplies in Ghana, the global supply and demand balance for cocoa remained tense, which was reflected in the updated prices as a result of the growing deficit.

Q3 2023

There were further complications in the third quarter as deliveries to Côte d’Ivoire remained stable at 2,340,000 tons despite the absence of expected supply changes. Excessive rainfall contributed to the spread of disease on cocoa plantations and threatened future harvests. The announcement by the ministry responsible for cocoa production that it would stop selling future harvests led to a significant price increase on the global cocoa market, which was exacerbated by the decision to restrict the export of beans in favor of increasing local processing.

Q4 2023

The end of the year brought considerable challenges, as deliveries to the ports of Côte d’Ivoire fell by 33% compared to the previous year. These problems were caused by a number of factors, including climatic changes that led to excessive rainfall and a lack of investment in cocoa infrastructure in previous years. The quality of cocoa beans delivered to chocolate factories decreased significantly, indicating deep structural and environmental problems affecting the entire sector.

2023 was a challenging year for the global cocoa market with supply uncertainty and significant price fluctuations. Logistical problems, weather fluctuations, plant diseases and political decisions on exports and local processing had a profound impact on the availability and price of cocoa in global markets. The year also highlighted the importance of investing in infrastructure and adapting to changing climatic conditions to ensure stability and sustainable growth in the future.

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