Nigeria Cocoa Prices Fall 28% in 2 Months on Slowing Light Crop Demand

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Cocoa prices received by farmers in Nigeria, the world’s fourth-largest producer, fell by as much as 28 percent from a record high two months ago on declining demand, according to Neji Abang Neji, secretary general of the Cocoa Association of Nigeria.

Prices have fallen because there is low demand for the so- called light-crop beans, which the farmers are harvesting currently, he said.

“Demand is always low because you have to crush more beans to get the right quantity of butter that you need,” Neji said by phone today from Akure, capital of the western Ondo state, Nigeria’s leading cocoa producing area.

Farmgate prices are 400,000 naira ($2,567) a metric ton in Akure, and 384,000 naira a ton in Ikom, in the south, down from an all-time high of about 535,000 naira a ton in early March, he said.

Cocoa is Nigeria’s second-biggest foreign-exchange earner after crude oil, according to figures published by the Nigerian government. Only the Ivory Coast, Ghana and Indonesia produce more cocoa, according to the International Cocoa Organization.

The light-crop, the smaller of two annual harvests, usually begins in March and ends in June.
To contact the reporter on this story: Vincent Nwanma in Lagos via Accra at vnwanma@bloomberg.net.
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin in Johannesburg at asguazzin@bloomberg.net.

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