Ecuador: Ecuador Cocoa Update and Outlook
Ecuador’s cocoa bean production is estimated to reach 255,000 metric tons (MT) in calendar year (CY) 2015 (up over six percent compared to 2014) and forecast to reach 300,000 MT in 2016. Planted area in 2015 is estimated at 565,000 hectares (up 35,000 hectares or almost seven percent), of which 450,000 hectares will be harvested (up 30,000 hectares or over seven percent). Planted area in 2016 is forecast to grow to 650,000 hectares (up 85,000 hectares or 15 percent), of which some 520,000 hectares will be harvested (up 70,000 hectares or 15.5 percent). Yields of 0.57MT/hectare are anticipated in 2015, while yields in 2016 should grow to 0.58MT/hectare on average. Ecuador’s cocoa exports reached over 236,000 MT ($775 million) in CY 2014; exports in 2015 are estimated at around 250,000 MT and forecast to grow to 300,000 MT in 2016. Ecuador exported to the United States in 2014 a record $236 million (up 42 percent) in cocoa beans and $20.5 million (up 17 percent) in cocoa paste and butter.