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Ecuador to replace Camerun in the world cocoa producers ranking

Ecuador is closing this year in the 5 largest cacao producers “club” worldwide. Its production, that will reach 240 metric tons, from which 230 thousand have been directed to the exportation market, has allowed the country to push Camerun (Africa) from its fifth place.

The estimates from the Anecacao (Spanish for Ecuador National Cacao Exporters Association) refer to external sales that reach a growth of 10% and it’s expected the incomes to end up in US$700 million.

With a new record in the exports volume, Ecuador achieves a second consecutive year advancing in its position in the global market, having surpassed Brazil in 2013, one of the strong competitors in the Latin American market.

The president of Anecacao, Iván Ontaneda, assures that a stronger promotion efforts about the Ecuadorian cacao quality in the world markets and the development of projects like the great cacao minga (the word “minga” refers to an indigenous tradition of cooperative and voluntary work for the common good) have been important factor which had helped to achieve optimal results this 2014.

“The obtained results by the cacao sector are due to the good public-private coordination between competitors within the cacao chain”, said Ontaneda.

Through the minga, promoted by the Agricultural Ministry, hundred of hectares have been trimmed in order to enhance the crops performance. In this second phase a trim has been included for more than 100 thousand hectares of cacao.

The international prices also have favored the sector, that continues as the first world supplier of fine or flavor cacao, or Arriba cocoa, whose cobe is yellow. And also, Ecuador exports the CCN51 variety.

Last May, as an example, the Asia demand pushed the price to 2,700 to 3,000 USD per ton. The fears that Ebola produced, mostly by its influence in African countries, have had an impact in the September quotations. In that month, each ton reached 3,200 USD. Nowadays the price is around 2,960 USD.

This year has been an opportunity to explore new markets. Ontaneda says that the Asian region (China) “appears as a strong emerging market for the Ecuadorian cacao and its derivates”.

Precisely, the derivates sales are pushing the local industry into making new investments to work into these new products. Beginning Decembe, the Maquita Cushunchic Foundation opened a cacao derivates plant, northeast Guayaquil, next to the grain collection center.

This infrastructure, built with the support of CAF, has a grain cacao process capacity of 120 tons and an estimated month production of 90 metric tons of pulp. Ana Boreto, Social Innovation Director of CAF, highlighted the relevance of the change from the raw material exportation to added value products exportation, because it helps to enhance the conditions of everyone implied in the chain.

Competitors

Until last year, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Indonesia, Niger and Camerun hold the first positions of the main producer countries. This year, Ecuador reached the fifth place.

Evolution

The last decade, Ecuador went from being a 110 thousand tons productor to be a 240 thousand tons to the end of 2014.

Growth

The goal of the cacao sector is to reach between 280 to 200 thousand metric tons in exports for the next two years (2016). New hectares are being added and the old ones are being recovered.

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