The International Cocoa Organisation (ICCO) Expert Working Group on Stocks (EWGS) has met in London, UK, to review the level of world cocoa bean stocks.
It 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 its annual survey of cocoa supplies 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).
Significantly, the organisation noted that 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 notes 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.
While the ICCO Secretariat maintains, so far, its supply deficit estimate of 21,000 tonnes for 2018/19 as published in its latest QBCS, it may revise that figure in its next Bulletin due at the end of February 2020, taking into account the outcome of this survey.