Climate Change is Destroying the World’s Chocolate
..ABIDJAN (Reuters) - Ivory Coast cocoa output is running about 8 percent below last year with weekly arrivals slowing down sharply, exporters estimated on Monday, after months of dry and windy weather that hampered growing operations.
Arrivals of cocoa at Ivory Coast’s two ports, the best indication of output from the world’s top grower, hit around 788,000 tonnes by January 22 since the start of the season in October, exporters estimated, compared with 855,980 tonnes in the same period of the previous season.
“The gap is widening more and more compared to last year, and we now think the main crop will finish well below our predictions,” said the director of a European export firm based in Abidjan, asking not to be named.
Farmers have complained that a lack of rain on the plantations since November has reduced the development of small pods and flowers on cocoa trees, a sure sign of falling production in the weeks ahead.
Exporters estimated that around 25,000 tonnes of beans were delivered to the West African state’s two ports between January 16 and January 22, versus 62,208 tonnes in the same week a year ago. Exporters issue a weekly consensus estimate based on the numbers of truckloads counted arriving to ports.
The latest official arrivals data from regulator BCC showed 738,462 tonnes reaching ports by January 8, compared with 736,696 tonnes in the same period the previous year.
Ivory Coast produced a record over 1.5 million tonnes of cocoa in the 2010-11 season thanks to ideal weather and despite a civil war that erupted after a disputed election.