Abidjan, 28 January 2021. The ICCO Expert Working Group on Stocks (EWGS) met via videoconference today, Thursday 28 January 2021 to review the level of European cocoa bean stocks as per the ICCO survey. The survey has been conducted every year since 2000 and aims to improve transparency in the cocoa market.

The EWGS is composed of experts in the cocoa field who meet, at the invitation of the ICCO, to review and analyse the results of the ICCO’s annual survey of cocoa bean stocks held in warehouses worldwide. However, due to unavoidable circumstances the Group discussed only the European stocks and will in due course conduct another meeting to assess total worldwide stocks.

TABLE: 1 ESTIMATES OF EUROPEAN WAREHOUSE STOCKS OF COCOA

 

Location

30 September 2018

a/

30 September 2019

a/

30 September 2020

a/

Year-on-year change
2018/19-2019/20

(tonnes)

Total European port-warehouse stocks

766,465

786,385 774,651 -11,734 -1.5%

Notes: a/ The estimates of European port-warehouse stocks are based on replies/revised estimates to the latest Secretariat questionnaire as at 21 January 2021.

Results for the survey dated 30 September 2020 as shown in Table 1, depict that European cocoa stocks were 774,651 tonnes as at the end of the 2019/20 cocoa year, representing a reduction of 1.5% (down by 11,734 tonnes) compared with the previous season. Due caution should however be exercised in interpreting these results, as not all warehouse-keepers responded and the same values were considered for two warehouses (holding about 90,000 tonnes of stocks altogether) that did not reply to the survey.

TABLE 2: COMPARISON OF ICE FUTURES EUROPE COCOA BEAN STOCKS WITH ICCO SURVEY DATA AS AT 30 SEPTEMBER 2020

 

ICCO survey on European port-warehouse stocks

ICE Futures Europe terminal market stocks

ICE Futures Europe stocks as % of ICCO survey (2019/20)

(tonnes)

 

30 September 2019

30 September 2020 30 September 2019 30 September 2020  
TOTAL 786,385 774,651 169,510 156,730

20.0%

The regular publication of information on terminal market stocks of cocoa by ICE Futures Europe provides an additional check on the accuracy of the ICCO survey results. As seen in Table 2, the percentage of terminal market stocks was reduced by 8% from 169,510 tonnes at the end of the 2018/19 season to 156,730 tonnes for the 2019/20 season. It is worth noting that the ICE Futures Europe stocks represented almost 20% of the overall cocoa stocks of the ICCO European stocks survey as at the end of the 2019/20 cocoa year.

Cocoa stocks published by ICE Futures Europe are generally lower than the volume of cocoa identified by the ICCO survey for two main reasons. Firstly, they represent only part of the cocoa stocks held by warehouse-keepers, as they are restricted to graded cocoa held in ICE Futures Europe nominated warehouses. On the contrary, the ICCO survey endeavours to seek information on all cocoa stocks held by the warehouses, and includes cocoa destined for the terminal market as well as cocoa stocks held by warehouse-keepers for traders, cocoa processors and chocolate manufacturers. The ICCO survey figure also compiles data from a wider geographical area and includes cocoa stored in port warehouses that are outside the ICE Futures Europe designated Delivery Area.

The EWGS would like to note that another meeting will be conveyed to assess the total estimated world stocks of cocoa beans and a press release will be issued in due course.

For more information, please contact Carlos Follana, Marketing and Communication Coordinator, International Cocoa Organization, ICCO Building, II Plateaux ENA – Avenue Boga Doudou, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire; Tel: +225 22 51 49 50/51 | Fax: +225 22 51 49 79 | E-mail: Carlos.Follana@icco.org