Ghana's Cocoa Harvest Is Said to Be Up 25% in 2016-17 Season

(Bloomberg) -- Ghana produced 25 percent more cocoa in the season through September and the biggest crop in six years, according to two people familiar with the matter, after favorable weather conditions boosted output in the world’s second-largest grower.

Graded and sealed deliveries since the beginning of the season in October last year reached 969,438 metric tons, said the people, who asked not to be named because the information isn’t public. That is the biggest since the 1.01 million ton harvest for the 2010-11 season and compares with 778,043 tons produced in the 2015-16 crop, when severe desert winds affected rainfall.

Certified purchases for the so-called light crop, the smaller of the two annual harvests which started June 8, totaled 100,028 tons, said the people. Purchases for the main crop, which ended May 25, came to 869,410 tons, said the people.

Noah Amenyah, a spokesman for the regulator, declined to comment when contacted by phone.

Read more: African cocoa crops seen driving a second straight surplus

Surging output in Ghana and neighboring Ivory Coast, the biggest producer, have weighed on prices, which slumped by about a third during the season. The two West African nations have benefited from sufficient rains and a mild Harmattan -- winds from the Sahara that bring dry weather and coolness to the producing regions from December to February.

Ivory Coast produced a harvest exceeding 2 million tons for the first time. Output in both countries will probably fall by more than 10 percent in the new season as farmers are unlikely to invest in their plantations, BMI Research said in an emailed note on Oct. 24.

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