Cocoa market prices decline
Posted Tuesday, February 26 2013 at 00:00
A kilogramme of cocoa has fallen from Shs4,600 to Shs4,300 in the month of January.
Incomes for cocoa farmers might move southwards as both local and international prices continue to exhibit negative prices.
This according to experts might greatly impact on Uganda’s export revenue earnings as well as farmers’ incomes.
Data from the International Cocoa Organisation indicates that in January, daily price averaged at $2,275 per tonne falling by $135 compared to an average price of $2,410 the previous month
Mr Phillip Bates, the Esco Uganda managing director - the country’s largest cocoa exporters said: “The price is going down every day on the global market and this will eventually affect farmers’ incomes.”
Currently cocoa in Uganda is sold for Shs4,300 for every kilogramme at farm – gate price down from Shs4,600 at the close of last year.
However, even with the low prices, Uganda continues to register good progress in terms of value and volume.
Records from the Uganda Export Promotion Board, shows that the country exported 17,935 metric tonnes worth $44.5 million in 2011 up from 14,529 tonnes exported in 2010.
Mr Bates said players are strategising to increase production through distribution of seedlings to the farmers.
He said Esco, is distributing seedlings to farmers as well as introducing the crops to new districts where it was never grown, like Mayuge, Kibaale and Hoima.
“We are seeing an upward change in production and things will be better in the next 5-10 years,” Mr Bates said.
The company is also equipping farmers with training in agronomic practices which will help them in the production of quality crop and beans.
He said: “Farmers have been equipped on how to handle soil erosion, organic production and shading.”
Global prices volatile
According to the International Cocoa Organisation, the relentless price declines recorded at the cocoa futures markets moved sideways at the beginning of the month under review.
During the period, trading on the futures markets was characterised mainly by relatively strong origin selling amid limited stocks of valid graded cocoa in Liffe warehouses.
“Thereafter and through to the third week of January, cocoa futures witnessed a price recovery, partly due to concerns over the possible impact of the Harmattan winds in the West African region on the upcoming mid crops,” the report said.