BUSINESS ADVANTAGE PNG
The cause is the cocoa pod borer pest, which has hit many cocoa producing regions around the world. According to the PNG Cocoa Board, production in East Sepik Province and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville ‘will likely crash’ over the next two years, all due to the pest.
Receipts from cocoa exports halved between 2011 and 2012, but with cocoa prices expected to rise, the revenue lost will become even more apparent. In the season ended 30 September, world demand outpaced production by 160,000 tonnes. As a result, analysts now predict cocoa prices may rise to US$3,090 per tonne by January next year, a US$200 per tonne rise.