Is the World Losing Its Sweet Tooth?

Cocoa, Chocolate And Confectionery August 10, 2015
Author: Olga Minchina
Account Manager

The end of 2014 was marked by an unexpectedly sharp drop in cocoa consumption in the world. The European Cocoa Association recorded a decrease of between two and five percent, which was far below market forecasts.

The EU is the largest global chocolate consumer and manufacturer, accounting for approximately 40 percent of the world's production of cocoa powder and butter as well as cocoa liquor. However, even the EU saw cocoa powder consumption drop in the environment of sluggish global demand.

According to Cargill Inc., one of the leading global cocoa processors, this downward trend is likely to persist in the years to come. The company considers Germany to be the principal driver of the decline.

Despite this, Cargill recently invested 100 million USD into new cocoa-grinding facilities in Indonesia, which holds the 3rd spot in cocoa bean farming in the world. This decision to expand illustrates that large companies are currently betting on an increasing Asian demand.

Nevertheless, in spite of sliding exports, Germany still remains one of the leaders in the global cocoa powder trade. In 2014, Germany exported 87 thousand tonnes of cocoa powder totaling 211 million USD, 4% under the previous year. Its primary trading partner was France, where it supplied 17% of its total cocoa powder exports in value terms, accounting for 23% of France's total imports. From 2007 to 2014, values of imports and exports were equal.

The Netherlands and Malaysia were among the other main global suppliers of cocoa powder in 2014. However, the fastest growing exporters from 2007 to 2014 were the U.S. (+14% per year) and Singapore (+13% per year).

In 2014, Germany's top 5 trading partners were France, the Russian Federation, Italy, the United Kingdom and Spain, with a combined 48% share of Germany's cocoa powder exports. The share of France increased (+6 percentage points), while the share of Spain illustrated negative dynamics (-5 percentage points).

Source: World: Cocoa Powder (Not Sweetened) - Market Report. Analysis and Forecast to 2020