Ghana secures $200 million in cocoa pre-payments

FILE PHOTO: Cocoa beans are pictured in Ghana’s eastern cocoa town of Akim Akooko September 6, 2012. REUTERS/Kwasi Kpodo/File Photo


Ghana’s cocoa regulator secured $200 million in early payments for deliveries from this year’s light crop, according to two people familiar with the matter.

While it’s not unusual for Ghana Cocoa Board to ask buyers to prepay for their contracts for the smaller of the two annual harvests, it didn’t make a similar request in 2018, said the people, who asked not to be identified because they’re not authorized to speak publicly about the matter. The light-crop harvest begins in June and is usually reserved for local processors.

The regulator is forecasting a harvest of at least 80,000 metric tons, said one of the people. A spokeswoman for the board declined to comment.

The request for early payments comes as the regulator is shoring up its finances and needs 1.1 billion cedis ($204 million) to meet commitments for the year through September. It’s also holding talks with lenders for $300 million in loans after recording a shortfall of 2 billion cedis in the previous annual harvest.