Estimates for higher West African cocoa production contributed to a forecast for a smaller worldwide deficit this season, a leading U.K. trade house said Thursday.
U.K. trade trade house E.D. and F. Man Thursday forecast the world cocoa deficit for the 1993-1994 (October-September) season at 150,000 metric tons, down from 164,000 metric tons in its January estimate.The estimates for West African production had been increased as a result of high arrivals in March and April and good mid-crop development, Man said.
The crop from the Ivory Coast, the world's largest cocoa producer, is pegged at 800,000 metric tons, compared with the January estimate of 775,000 metric tons and the 1992-93 total of 785,000.
The outlook for Ghana also has improved. Man puts the 1993-94 total at 245,000 metric tons, up from 215,000 metric tons in January, but still below 1992-93's 312,000 metric tons.
However, Man has reduced its estimate for Brazilian production to 282,000 metric tons from 308,000 in the January market report, due to dry weather in the first two months of the year.
Indonesian production also has been adversely affected by the weather, but should still increase by nearly 10 percent this season, to 245,000 metric tons.
World production of cocoa is forecast to remain virtually unchanged in 1993-94 at 2.383 million metric tons compared with 2.412 million in 1992-93.
Man forecast a further decline in the stocks-to-consumption ratio to 45 percent, the lowest level in six years.
"Long-term projections indicate the probability of a further deficit in 1994-95," the report added.
Grindings for the manufacture of cocoa products are forecast to grow by 4 percent in 1993-94 to reach a record 2.518 million metric tons (2.414 million metric tons in 1992-93).