Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/22/2012 -- BMI View: Although we forecast cocoa production to be disappointing in 2011/12, cocoa will remain Ghana's most important agriculture sector over the coming years. With the Ghanaian government maintaining a fixed price for cocoa that is lower than the global price, Ghana-produced cocoa will continue to be smuggled into and sold in neighbouring countries where the price is higher. This is likely to prevent Ghana from achieving the goal of becoming the world's largest cocoa producer. For the livestock sector, we expect Ghana to maintain a production deficit, with the country remaining reliant on imports for its growing consumption of poultry. Corn production will decline in 2011/12, but rising demand for corn as food and as poultry feed will encourage production in coming years.
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- Poultry production growth to 2015/16: 47.0% to 77,300 tonnes. Production will be boosted by private investment as well as calls to 'buy Ghanaian'.
- Corn consumption growth to 2015/16: 18.3% to 1.95mn tonnes. An expanding population and forecast rapid economic growth will contribute to increased demand for grains as primary foodstuffs. However, we see the most significant increase in demand for corn as coming from the poultry sector in the form of animal feed.
- 2012 real GDP growth: 6.6% in 2012 (down from 14.3% in 2011; predicted to average 8.8% from now until 2016).
- 2012 central bank policy rate: 16.0% end-2012 (up from 12.5% in 2011).
- 2012 consumer price index (average): 9.5% (up from 8.7% in 2011)
This quarter, BMI has revised down its forecast for 2011/12 cocoa production in Ghana on the back of dry weather and falling prices at the start of the cocoa season, which prompted famers to reduce fertiliser use. The fall in output in Ghana is similar to trends across the rest of West Africa and has been a key contributor to the rise in cocoa prices in recent months. Out to 2015/16, we forecast production to improve by 9.7% to 1.1mn tonnes, as yield gains are likely to continue. Rising GDP is likely to provide cocoa farmers with easier access to credit, supporting production expansion. This growth, combined with the ageing stock in Cote d'Ivoire, has some optimistic observers predicting that Ghana could overtake Cote d'Ivoire as the world's largest cocoa producer and exporter within a few years.
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