Global cocoa grindings forecast to reach 5.2 million tonnes by 2017, as demand has increased over last decade from rise in disposable incomes, improved farming techniques, report says; consumption in Asia-Pacific forecast to grow at highest CAGR of 5.1%

SAN JOSE, California , March 30, 2012 (press release) – GIA announces the release of a comprehensive global report on the Cocoa markets. World Cocoa grindings are forecast to reach 5.2 million metric tons by the year 2017. Over the last decade, global consumption of cocoa witnessed sturdy increase, at times even exceeding production, primarily due to higher disposable incomes, increase in chocolate consuming population, improved farming techniques and favorable government initiatives. Growth is primarily sustained by heavy demand from western countries of Europe and North America. Developing nations such as Asia, Africa and Latin America are categorized as the largest cocoa producers worldwide. In future, apart from sheer taste and indulgence factors, market demand will surge backed by nutritive and cancer-fighting capabilities of cocoa-rich chocolates.

Chocoholics have tens of reasons to indulge in chocolates now. Recently released health updates underscore cocoa's rich antioxidant content that prevents cancer. Snack-size nutritional bars with ginseng, taurine, guarana and glucose fillings in darker cocoa-rich chocolate provide affordable indulgence, along with positive nutritional benefits of enhanced mental endurance, enriched physical vigor and other advantages. Extensive research is being carried out to evaluate the medicinal potency of cocoa-based chocolate. Manufacturers are trying to make the most of health-conscious individuals. The touting health benefits of dark chocolate due to high cocoa content and rich taste have become buzzwords for chocolate producers. Cocoa is cultivated in over fifty nations worldwide. However, production is restricted to three major regions including West Africa, South East Asia and Latin America.

Over the last few years, demand and production of cocoa beans increased at a healthy rate. However, global consumption of cocoa increased rapidly, exceeding production during the last decade primarily due to rising income levels and growth in chocolate consuming population. Western Europe and North America lead the cocoa market, while developing regions such as Asia, especially China, Indonesia, and India, Eastern Europe and Latin America are emerging as lucrative markets for cocoa. Africa largely dominates the production scenario, accounting for over 70% of the global cocoa production. Ivory Coast and Ghana of West Africa together contribute more than 50% to the world's cocoa production, while Indonesia accounts for lion's share of the Asian cocoa production.

Cocoa prices peaked during the 2009-2010 period, as Ivory Coast farmers hesitated to fertilize the aging cocoa trees, resulting in a poor harvest from the country that accounts for about 40% of the worldwide cocoa supply. The financial crisis in the Europe, the largest market for cocoa beans, together with surplus harvest in West Africa, the world's biggest supplier, dragged down cocoa prices to the lowest level since 2008. In addition, the atmosphere of political uncertainty that gripped the country during the same period choked exports. Moreover, speculation related to farmers in the second largest cocoa-producing country abandoning cocoa crops in favor of rubber plantations, also fuelled the global price hike. However, in 2010, political calm returned to the Ivory Coast, and the La Nina weather system brought abundant rainfall, leading to a healthy crop output, thereby revitalizing the country's cocoa exports. This copious supply of cocoa against weakening demand, led to a glut in the global market, thereby easing international cocoa prices. Although the peak seasonal demand from chocolate manufacturers absorbs such oversupply in most years, the earlier uncertainty in the Ivory Coast market prompted most buyers to prematurely hedge their futures contracts, further aggravating the erosion in prices in 2010-2011.

A large percentage of cocoa produced is imported by developed nations such as Europe and the US, where chocolate consumption is high. As stated by the new market research report, Europe represents the largest cocoa-consuming and cocoa-processing nation with the lion's share of the worldwide Cocoa grindings market. Netherlands, Germany, France and UK represent prominent cocoa consuming markets in Europe. Majority of the cocoa processing companies are located in the European and the US regions. Asia-Pacific, driven by strong production trends in rapidly growing markets of Indonesia, India, China, Malaysia, Singapore, and others, is projected to forge ahead at the highest CAGR of about 5.1% through 2017.

Major players profiled in the report include Archer Daniels Midland Company, Barry Callebaut AG, Belcolade NV, Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate, Dagoba Organic Chocolate, Dutch Cocoa B.V., Delfi Cocoa, Ferrero S.P.A., PT. Cacao Wangi Murni, Group Cemoi, Guan Chong Cocoa Manufacturer Sdn. Bhd., Kraft Foods Inc., Petra Foods Limited, Transmar Commodity Group Ltd., Wilbur Chocolate Company Inc., World's Finest® Chocolate Inc., among others.

The research report titled "Cocoa: A Global Strategic Business Report" announced by Global Industry Analysts Inc., provides a comprehensive review of the cocoa markets, impact of recession, current market trends & issues, key growth drivers, production scenario, key statistics, product introductions, recent industry activity, and profiles of major/niche global as well as regional market participants. The report provides annual cocoa grindings in volume (tons) terms for the years 2009 through 2017 for the following geographic markets - US, Canada, Japan, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East & Africa and Latin America. The study also provides historic data for an insight into market evolution over the period 2003 through 2008.

About Global Industry Analysts, Inc.
Global Industry Analysts, Inc., (GIA) is a leading publisher of off-the-shelf market research. Founded in 1987, the company currently employs over 800 people worldwide. Annually, GIA publishes more than 1300 full-scale research reports and analyzes 40,000+ market and technology trends while monitoring more than 126,000 Companies worldwide. Serving over 9500 clients in 27 countries, GIA is recognized today, as one of the world's largest and reputed market research firms.

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