The Cocoa Marketing Company (CMC), together with the Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA) and major shipping lines have held the cocoa freight negotiation conference in Accra for the 2020/2021 crop season.
The cocoa freight negotiation conference which took place on 24th September 2020 was hosted for the second time in Ghana while past negotiations for the last two decades were held in Europe.
The one-day conference provided the platform for the CMC in collaboration with the GSA and the shipping lines serving Ghana’s cocoa trade to negotiate the freight rate and conditions of shipment of cocoa for the coming season.
In a welcome address, the Managing Director of the CMC, Mr Vincent Okyere Akomeah, disclosed that Ghana shipped over 500,000 tonnes of cocoa during the 2019/2020 cocoa season.
“It is significant to note that 52% out of this volume was shipped from Takoradi, 42% in Tema and 6% from Kumasi. This is reflecting the fact that about 45% of total cocoa production in Ghana is coming from the Western Region.”, he explained.
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He encouraged more shipping lines to load cocoa from the Takoradi Port since only three shipping lines are currently carrying cocoa from there. The shipping lines were assured of incentives such as greater volumes and free empty container terminal at Kejebril to facilitate their operation from Takoradi.
“We anticipate that Ghana’s cocoa exports for the coming cocoa season would increase to about 700,000 tonnes. We therefore expect greater volume of about 75% shipment by ending of February 2021. This will be the period we will rely on your utmost cooperation as partners, especially with reliable ETA of vessels, availability and delivery of good Food Grade containers to our terminals.”, he said.
For her part, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the GSA, Ms Benonita Bismarck, used the occasion to thank shipping lines for their timely support in waiving off demurrage accrued on cargoes of shippers during the COVID-19 lockdown period.
She called on all parties to be guided by the same spirit used in previous negotiations to ensure a resounding success of this year’s conference.
“I believe that at the end of the negotiations we would have come out with freight rates and conditions of shipment that provide a win-win situation for all stakeholders”, Ms Benonita Bismarck noted.
Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), Maersk Line, Pacific International Lines (PIL), Grimaldi, CMA CGM, ZIM/GSL, COSCO Shipping, UNIATLANTICO, among other shipping lines are part of this year’s cocoa freight negotiation conference.