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February 16, 2012

Cameroon cocoa price rises on tight supplies

Farmgate cocoa prices in Cameroon's main cocoa growing regions rose slightly in February compared with the previous month on tight supplies as the main crop harvest tailed off, farmers said on February 15.

Farmers said prices rose to 1,000 CFA francs per kg in Kumba and Bafia, the main trading centres in the South-West and Centre regions, from 950 CFA francs/kg and 925 CFA francs/kg in January respectively.

"The increase is good news for the farmers, many of whom will see their output reduced by pest attacks this year," said Emmanuel Nnogo Akolo who farms near Emana, about 70 km north of the capital Yaounde.

Akolo said earlier than expected rainfall in the past week has raised hopes of a better mid-crop harvest. A long dry spell coupled with insect attacks on plantations is threatening output in the world's fifth largest cocoa producer, which grew a record 240,000 tonnes in 2010/11.

Cameroon's Cocoa Development Company (SODECAO) expecting production to rise to 250,000 tonnes in 2011/12.

Cameroon's cocoa season runs from August to July with the main harvest taking place between October to February, while a smaller mid crop is harvested from May to July. The Centre and South-West account for 80 percent of Cameroon's output.

Reuters

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