Bloomberg News

Produce Buying to Acquire 50% of Ghana’s Light-Crop Cocoa

June 30, 2011

(Updates price of cocoa in final paragraph.)

June 30 (Bloomberg) -- Produce Buying Co., Ghana’s biggest purchaser of cocoa from farmers, plans to buy as much as half of the country’s light-crop harvest of beans, said Joseph Osei Manu, the company’s deputy managing director.

“We hope to reach 40,000” metric tons by the end of the harvest in September, he said in an interview in Accra, the capital, yesterday. “As at the first week ending June 16, we had purchased 19,000” tons, he said.

The light, or mid, crop harvest produces smaller beans that are used mainly by processing companies based in Ghana, the world’s second-biggest cocoa producer. The Ghana Cocoa Board, which oversees the industry, expects the June-to-September harvest to reach 80,000 tons, said Kwabena Asante-Poku, deputy chief executive officer of the board.

Ghana’s main-crop harvest, which started in October and ended in May, rose to a record 903,646 tons, the board said on May 30.

The boost came from favorable weather and programs to provide pest- and fungus-eradicating chemicals to farms as well as fertilizer, Osei Manu said.

PBC’s share price has doubled this year, outpacing a 20 percent increase in the Ghana Stock Exchange’s Composite Index. It was unchanged at 28 pesewas per share by 11:03 a.m. in Accra. Cocoa for September delivery rose for a fourth day, gaining 23 pounds, or 1.2 percent, to 1,982 pounds ($3,173) per ton in London.

--Editors: Emily Bowers, Ben Holland, Alastair Reed.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ekow Dontoh in Accra at edontoh@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net.


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