London, 24 January 2019 - The ICCO Expert Working Group on Stocks (EWGS) met today, Thursday 24 January 2019 to review the level of world cocoa bean stocks. The EWGS is composed of experts in the cocoa field who meet once a year, at the invitation of the ICCO, to review and analyse the results of the ICCO’s annual survey of worldwide cocoa stocks. The survey has been conducted every year since 2000 and aims to improve transparency in the cocoa market.

Location of cocoa bean stocks 30 September 2017 30 September 2018

Difference

year-on-year

       
STOCKS IN COCOA IMPORTING COUNTRIES   1,241 1,125 -117
 Of which:      
Europe     744      664    -80 
Licensed US warehouse stocks     291    263  -28
       
STOCKS IN COCOA PRODUCING COUNTRIES     243    277   34
COCOA BEANS IN TRANSIT      87     79   -9

TOTAL ESTIMATED 

 

WORLD COCOA BEAN STOCKS  (ICCO Survey)

1,572 1,480 -91
Total world stocks (statiscally-derived) QBCS 1,726 1,748 22

 Totals and differences may differ due to rounding.

The result of the latest survey showed identifiable world cocoa bean stocks declined to 1.480 million tonnes as at the end of the 2017/18 cocoa year (30 September 2018). 76% of the stocks were located in cocoa importing countries, while 19% were held in cocoa producing countries and 5% were afloat as at 30 September 2018.

The level of world cocoa bean stocks identified by the ICCO survey was down by 91,000 tonnes compared to the previous year. This result differs from the statistically-derived estimate published by the ICCO in November 2018 in its latest Quarterly Bulletin of Cocoa Statistics (QBCS), which showed a small supply surplus of 22,000 tonnes for the 2017/18 cocoa season.

The EWGS now notes that a gap of 268,000 tonnes has developed between the annual survey of cocoa stocks held in warehouses worldwide and the ICCO’s statistically-derived stocks figure.

The review conducted by the EWGS during its meeting led to the conclusion that the survey results underestimate existing world stocks due to the expansion of stocks held in locations not reporting to the ICCO survey. The most significant area of unreported stock was identified as Asia. The ICCO Secretariat agreed to continue its efforts to increase transparency of stock levels in the region.

While the ICCO Secretariat maintains, so far, its supply surplus estimate of 22,000 tonnes for 2017/18 as published in its latest QBCS, it may revise that figure in its next Bulletin due at the end of February 2019, taking into account the outcome of this survey.

For more information, please contact Bérénice Bah, Editorial and Conference Officer, 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: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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ICCO Secretariat

Postal Address:
International Cocoa Organization
06 BP 1166 Abidjan 06
Côte d'Ivoire

Tel:  +225 22 51 49 50/51
Fax: +225 22 51 49 79
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

General Information

Further information on the ICCO, the cocoa market, statistics, meetings, or any other subject related to the world cocoa economy can be obtained by contacting the Information and Media Officer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.