June 21, 2019 / 11:58 AM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-Ivory Coast cocoa mid-crop to reach record 600,000 T - exporters and pod counters

(Adds detail and background)

ABIDJAN, June 21 (Reuters) - Ivory Coast’s cocoa mid-crop is expected to reach a record 600,000 tonnes this season, exporters and pod counters said on Friday, up 20% from the previous season.

Some 412,000 tonnes of beans were delivered to the Ivorian ports of Abidjan and San Pedro between the start of the mid-crop in April and June 16, up around 23% from the same period last season.

Mid-crop cocoa production in the world’s top producer typically fluctuates between 300,000 and 400,000 tonnes per season, with a record 500,000 tonnes last season.

“600,000 tonnes is really a minimum for this year. We have seen thousands of small plantations develop over the past years, and others who are only just starting,” one pod counter told Reuters.

Exporters and pod counters said the mid-crop in Ghana, the second biggest producer after Ivory Coast, was seen falling to 120-130,000 tonnes this season, down around 50% from 250,000 last season.

But the decline will be offset by production in Ivory Coast, they added.

“There will be no surplus or deficit for these two countries put together. We will be in line with market demands,” an exporter said. (Reporting by Ange Aboa; Writing by Sofia Christensen; Editing by Susan Fenton and Mark Potter)

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