General News Fri, 30 Apr 1999

Ghana closes 1998/99 main cocoa crop season

06:52 a.m. Apr 30, 1999 Eastern

ACCRA, April 30 (Reuters) - Ghana's Cocobod commodity board has closed the 1998/99 main cocoa crop season (October-April) on Friday but it has not given figures for total crop purchases.

Cocoa buyers have until May 4 to declare purchases, according to a Cocobod statement issued on Thursday.

The last official purchase figures released date from early March, when weekly purchases had started coming down from over 3,000 tonnes to under 2,000 tonnes.

By March 4, purchases of 1998/99 cocoa stood at some


324,000 tonnes compared to over 358,000 tonnes by the end of the corresponding week in the previous season.

Local trade and industry sources see the total 1998/99 crop (October-September) at less than 370,000 tonnes, down on the 1997/98 total of around 400,000 tonnes.

``I would not be surprised if the total (1998/99) would be less than 360,000 tonnes, but I don't exclude it,'' one industry source said.

Ghana's current crop was hit by some drought in the wake of last year's El Nino weather phenomenon.

Source: Reuters