The expert working group that reviews stocks of cocoa held around the world believes that there is more stock held in Asia than previously reported.
The International Cocoa Organization’s Expert Working Group on Stocks (EWGS) met in London on 23 January 2020 to review the level of world stocks.
The EWGS is composed of experts in the cocoa field who meet once a year, at the invitation of the ICCO, to review and analyse the results of the ICCO’s annual survey of cocoa bean stocks held in warehouses worldwide. The survey has been conducted every year since 2000 and aims to improve transparency in the cocoa market.
The results of the latest survey showed that world cocoa bean stocks are estimated to have increased to 1.538 million tonnes as at the end of the 2018/19 cocoa year (30 September 2019).
Unfortunately, this year there was a significant reduction in responses to the survey. Therefore, a larger proportion of the stock had to be estimated.
The EWGS noted that a gap of 163,000 tonnes exists between the annual survey of cocoa stocks held in warehouses worldwide and the ICCO’s statistically-derived stocks figure.
The review conducted by the EWGS during its meeting led to the conclusion that the survey results underestimate existing world stocks due to the expansion of stocks held in locations not reporting to the ICCO survey. The most significant area of unreported stocks was identified as Asia.
Although the ICCO Secretariat maintains, so far, its supply deficit estimate of 21,000 tonnes for 2018/19 as published in its latest quarterly bulletin, it may revise that figure in its next bulletin, which is due at the end of February 2020, taking into account the outcome of this survey.