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Ghana to exceed 800,000 tonne cocoa target

Staff Writer |
Ghana is on track to exceed its revised 800,000-tonne target for cocoa production this season due to good rains this year, the chief executive of regulator Cocobod said.

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Cocoa purchases in Ghana, the world's second-largest cocoa grower, totalled 691,149 tonnes as of March 23, from the start of the 2016/17 season on Oct. 1, according to Cocobod data seen by Reuters. That represented a 4 percent rise on last season.

"The rains have been good for us this year and the outlook is very good," Cocobod Chief Executive Joseph Boahen Aidoo told Reuters in an interview. "Indications are that we're likely to cross the 800,000 mark."

He said Cocobod aimed to raise a $1.3 billion syndicated loan from international banks in September for 2017/18 crop purchases. That loan was based on an expected output of 850,000 tonnes, Aidoo said.

Total purchases for the week ending March 23, week 25 of the 2016/17 season, were 10,308 tonnes, up from 9,490 tonnes a year earlier, the Cocobod data showed.

Aidoo said Ghana was reinforcing security at its borders to prevent the smuggling in of poorer-quality cocoa from Ivory Coast, where prices have fallen sharply. He feared this could hurt Ghana's premium bean quality.