The latest Competitor Analysis report released by the International Trade Centre (ITC) portal indicates that in 2018, Ghana earned a total of US$44.1 million from the export of chocolate and other food preparations containing cocoa under HS Code 1806.
Under this, Ghana’s export of chocolate to the international markets last year amounted to US32.1 million whereas sweetened cocoa powder dominated the export of other food preparations containing cocoa, generating US$12 million.
Regarding chocolate, the European markets continue to be the largest destination for export of the products as Netherlands imported from Ghana a total of US$17.1 million; followed by Spain with US$5.1 million as well as Germany and Estonia both importing US$1.2 million each in 2018.
With regards to the export of sweetened cocoa powder, close to US$12 million representing 99 percent of the total value of that product which was exported, went to the Nigerian market, which indicates a sharp increase on the total export value of the product in 2017. For the last three years, Ghana has been the dominant supplier of sweetened cocoa powder in the Nigerian market.
Altogether under the HS Code 1806, that is, chocolate and other food preparations containing cocoa, Nigeria emerged as the second behind Netherlands as the largest importer of US$12.6 million whereas fellow West African neighbour – Togo, just imported close to US$400,000.
Speaking with the Goldstreet Business, Head of Services and Manufacturers of the Ghana Export Promotion Agency (GEPA), Mr. Bandah Abdallah said that the Authority had identified a potential market opportunity in the Nigerian market and that plans are underway to engage key stakeholders to significantly increase the proportion of the products into the Nigeria market and other West African markets.
“Supply of cocoa beans can be improved to enable Ghana’s competitiveness in the exports of cocoa products”, he noted.
The processing of cocoa beans at the countries of origin is a highly debated topic on the European chocolate market. Although the manufacture of semi-finished cocoa products is interesting from the perspective of developing countries, the European market for this type of local value addition is still limited.
European companies are looking into processing at the origin, but mostly under their own supervision. Developing locally processed cocoa products requires proper quality management process, documentation, long-term commitment and close cooperation with European companies.