Cocoa purchases declared to Ghana’s industry regulator reached 494,960 tonnes by Jan. 29 since the start of the main crop, down 23.9 percent from Jan. 30 last year, industry regulator Cocobod said on Tuesday.
Cocobod is conducting a field trip to assess the crop and will decide in coming weeks whether to lower its annual output target, spokesman Noah Amenyah said.
The purchases, which covered 17 weeks of the main crop season, were lower than the 650,852 tonnes recorded for a period that ended Jan. 30 last year. That period represents the first 15 weeks of last season, Amenyah said.
Total purchases for the 17th week were 7,637.38 tonnes, he said.
Ghana, the world’s second-largest cocoa producer after Ivory Coast, aims to buy at least 850,000 tonnes of cocoa in the 2014/15 crop year which is expected to end in September.
“We have had a strange season this year and we are still working to understand the phenomenon,” Amenyah said, adding that besides dry Harmattan winds hitting the crop this year, there could be other factors responsible for the low yield.