Indonesia’s cocoa bean exports fall 20 %

Новость на Казах-зерно:

Indonesia’s cocoa bean exports from its main growing island of Sulawesi slipped 20 percent in February from the same month a year ago, and was down 11 percent from the previous month, industry data showed on Thursday.

Sulawesi cocoa exports were at 7,917.7 tonnes in February from 9,871.4 tonnes a year ago, data from the Indonesia Cocoa Association showed. January exports were at 8,904.25 tonnes.

Indonesia is the world’s third-largest cocoa producer after Ivory Coast and Ghana but its industry is battling disease and adverse weather conditions that have hampered cocoa supplies.

Government tax incentives, including export tariffs and investment tax holidays, have boosted domestic cocoa grinding demand, and is also seen cutting bean exports from Southeast Asia’s largest economy.

“The main major factor is more local grinder demand,” said a Jakarta-based cocoa trader and grinder. “With an export tax in place, a lot of the beans are being processed locally.”

“For production, we are expecting a much better figure than last year,” he said ahead of the April harvest. “This year the weather is much better than last year.”

Indonesia’s cocoa output is estimated to rise to 1.3 million tonnes this year, from 712,230 tonnes in 2011, according to the agriculture ministry.

However, the Indonesian Cocoa Association’s estimates differ greatly from the government, with production seen at around 500,000 tonnes this year versus 420,000 tonnes in 2011.

Last year, a poor crop after an abnormally wet rainy season and an outbreak of a deadly fungal disease ahead of the main harvest in April curbed shipments.

Smallholders own more than 90 percent of the total plantation area, and the rest is held by state-owned and private plantation firms.

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