LONDON (Reuters) - The International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) on Friday halved its forecast for the expected global cocoa surplus in the 2018/19 season as growth in grindings, a proxy for demand, is set to outpace production increases.
The inter-governmental body estimated there will be a surplus of 18,000 tonnes in the 2018/19 season, which runs from October to September, down from a previous forecast of 36,000 tonnes.
It reduced its surplus estimate for the 2017/18 season by 1,000 tonnes to 8,000 tonnes.
The ICCO increased its world grindings estimate by 33,000 tonnes to 4.783 million tonnes as the industry benefits from low international prices and an uptick in grindings in origin countries.
It sees grindings rising by 11% in Asia to 1.166 million tonnes, 3% in Africa to 991,000 tonnes, 4% in the Americas to 903,000 tonnes, and 1% in Europe to 1.724 million tonnes.
In terms of global production, the Abidjan-based body raised its estimate by 15,000 tonnes to 4.849 million tonnes, given production increases in Ivory Coast, Ecuador and Cameroon.
Production in Africa, which account for three-quarters of the world’s cocoa, is seen up 6% to 3.701 million tonnes, including 2.2 million tonnes from Ivory Coast, the world’s top cocoa producer.
Reporting by Nigel Hunt and Maytaal Angel; Editing by David Evans and Jan Harvey