Although the traditional reporting regions all saw lower cocoa grind in Q3 2023, one area of the world has continued to see investment in capacity. GEPEX, i.e., Ivorian, grind has grown by 56 percent over the past decade. In the most recent capex news, a farmer co-op in Duékoué (a city and state in western Ivory Coast) announced a joint venture with Italian investors to build a facility with annual processing capacity of 20,000 MT of beans. At a cost of roughly USD 10.5 million, the plant is slated to produce about 6,000 MT of chocolate liquor and cocoa butter and cake, improving return for farmer members. 

This project joins similar ventures announced this year: The governments of both United Arab Emirates (UAE) and China already have started moving forward on their own cocoa-processing JVs. The UAE facility is located in the key port city of San Pedro, with planned grind capacity of 120,000 MT of beans. Meanwhile, the Chinese investment consists of two smaller plants with a combined capacity of 50,000 MT of beans. Added to these other facilities, the new Italian-Ivorian JV may lift GEPEX grind by 190,000 MT in 2023. 

The full version of this commentary appeared on our IQ platform Oct. 25, 2023. Further information, statistics, and pricing for the cocoa market are available to IQ subscribers. Learn more about becoming a subscriber.

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