Cocoa grinding grows 15,47% in the first quarter of 2023

The receipt of almonds, compared to the first quarter of 2022, suffered a decline of 6,5%, going from 28.932 tons to 27.046 tons

18.04.2023 | 15:16 (UTC -3)

The year 2023 closed the first quarter of the year with a volume of national almonds received of 27.046 tons, a decline of 6,5% compared to the 28.932 tons in the first months of 2022, according to data compiled by SindiDados – Campos Consultores and published by the National Association of Cocoa Processing Industries (AIPC). “The first months of the year have a lower volume of receipts. The difference between what the industry processes and what it receives from cocoa is always very large. The expectation is that, from now on, with the arrival of the early harvest, the volumes delivered will be significant”, explains the executive president of AIPC, Anna Paula Losi.

Between January and March 2023, almond crushing was 64.016 tons, an increase of approximately 15,47% compared to the 55.439 tons in the same period of the previous year. “The industry has been working to ensure that we have more and more cocoa beans produced in Brazil, so that the increase in grinding is increasingly accelerated. In this first semester, the results were very positive”, ponders Anna Paula.

In terms of almond imports, the accumulated number for the first three months of the year was 34.781 tons, compared to 3.003 tons imported in the same period of 2022. Anna Paula states that “part of this volume accounted for in 2023 arrived at the end of December 2022. It is in the first and fourth quarters of each year that there is the export window in African countries, the same period of high shortage of cocoa bean deliveries in Brazil, which is why the largest volumes occur in these two periods. The most important thing is to realize that, even with the imported volume, the average price of almonds in Brazil, recorded by the Cocoa Market, was above R$ 200,00/@”.

Exports of derivatives, which mainly serve the markets of Argentina, Chile and the United States, fell 22,2% in the first quarter of 2023, going from 11 thousand tons in 2022 to 8.558 tons this year. This drop does not worry the market, according to Anna Paula Losi, as the trend is for recovery in the coming months. “Exports to Argentina are increasingly challenging, given the various changes imposed by the country's government, but we are looking for new markets and, by increasing our almond production, the Brazilian industry will become even more competitive in the foreign market”.

Receipt by state

The reception of almonds by state was highlighted by the volume sent by Bahia, of 13.971 tons. Compared to the same period in 2022, there was a decrease of approximately 17% compared to 16.830 tons in 2022. Next came Pará with 11.457 tons, a volume that grew 10,8% compared to 10.336 tons in the same period of 2022, followed by Espírito Santo, with 1.252 tons compared to 1.555 tons, a drop of 19,4%; and Rondônia, with 271 tons, compared to 211 tons, an increase of 28,4%. Compared to the first three months of 2022, other states in Brazil had not sent a relevant volume of almonds and, in the same period of 2023, they registered the shipment of 95 tons. In any case, among the four main producing states, Bahia continues to have the highest volume of deliveries to the industry.

International market analysis

According to StoneX analyst Caio Santos, the second quarter of 2023 started with a lot of volatility. In April, the maturity of the July Cocoa Futures Contract reached its highest level since November 2020. “With the market already overbought and speculators with a significant long position in their portfolio, cocoa is more vulnerable and there is a possibility downward correction in the coming weeks,” he stated.

First quarter crushing in Europe, released to the market last week, rose 0,5% compared to last year, which was slightly above market expectations. The analyst said that “this was also the largest crushing in Europe, for the first quarter of the year, and the third largest for any quarter of this century”. Santos says first quarter grinds for North America and Asia will be launched this week, which could also show an improvement in demand.

On the supply side of the market, the total number of almonds offered by Côte d'Ivoire in the current season, which started in October, reached the mark of 1,779 million tons at the end of the first quarter of 2023, 4,8% below the accumulated figure in the same period from the previous season. “Initial forecasts for West African production for the mid-season harvest point to a reduction compared to last year, which could result in global full-season production falling short of market expectations,” Santos said.

He points out that, taking into account that, in the first quarter, prices for cocoa traded in New York increased 14%, almost 360 dollars per ton, it is expected that prices will enter a period of correction in the coming months. “Still, it is important to emphasize that the context of the fundamentals points to a tighter balance between supply and demand, which tends to limit this correction and encourage new upward moves at the end of the year,” he stated.

LS Tractor February