Sri Lanka cocoa price hike may prompt imports

July 02, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lankan cocoa prices have shot up owing to cop failure and heavy demand for cocoa beans might prompt the confectionary industry to resort to imports, a trade body said. The Spices & Allied Products Producers™ and Traders™ Association (SAPPTA) said the price for a kilo of grade one cocoa beans shot up to 400 rupees.

There is a high demand for cocoa beans locally, it said in a report.

This due to a marginal crop failure during the year. Due to limited availability of cocoa beans, the confectionary industry might import cocoa beans to meet their requirements.

The main cropping areas are in Malawana and Hapugastanne in the central hills.

Cocoa prices had been around 340 350 rupees a kilo in late May and 305-330 rupees in mid-March and as low as 270-290 rupees a kilo in early January and late December, according to SAPPTA market reports.

In early June last year prices had been around 250-270 rupees a kilo of cocoa beans for the three main grades.

Sri Lanka™s cocoa crop has been limited owing to neglect of plantations when prices had been low and the trade has been trying to encourage small farmers and plantations compani