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Nigeria Drops to Seventh Position as Cocoa Producer

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Cocoa farm

Nigeria has dropped to the seventh position from fourth as a top cocoa producer in the world, according to data made available by the International Cocoa Organisation.

The President, Cocoa Association of Nigeria, Mr. Sayina Riman, said the review of the rankings was made by the ICO based on the country’s 2015/2016 production projection of 190,000 metric tonnes.

“Nigeria has fallen from four to seven. It is shocking to us. The ranking was announced to us at a meeting that our 2015/2016 production figure leaves us at 190,000 metric tonnes,” he said.

According to the ICCO statistics, Nigeria occupied the fourth position in the 2013/2014 season based on its estimated production output of 230,000 metric tonnes after Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Indonesia.

Riman, who said that the 2015/2016 season yielded about 275,000 metric tonnes for the country, expressed optimism that the new planting season would yield between 280,000 metric tonnes and 300,000 metric tonnes provided that the production factors were favourable.

The output of 275,000 metric tonnes fetched the country about $792m in that period based on the ICCO daily price of $2,878.55 per tonne of cocoa beans on September 15, 2016.

This shows that cocoa production rose by 17 per cent from 235,000 metric tonnes in the 2014/2015 planting season to 275,000 metric tonnes in the 2015/2016 season.

The production of individual countries, according to the ICCO, is based on cocoa beans purchased or reaching the ports of the countries concerned and consequently, may differ from the harvested crop.

Riman, however, explained that many exporters were avoiding the ports and were smuggling cocoa beans out of the country, because they were discouraged by the earnings from the commodity, which had been restricted to N305 to $1 adopted as the interbank rate.

According to him, it is not profitable for exporters because the export business is done with loans at 29 per interest rate.

He explained, “Last year, the drought adversely affected our cocoa output and secondly, the monetary policy affected us. We have the limitations of not having free access to our proceeds as they come and some cocoa beans are now being smuggled to other countries so that exporters can have their proceeds there.

“What the CBN is doing, which is not acceptable to the export commodity sector, is that they still want us to change the export proceeds at the interbank rate. The parallel market rate is N420 to the dollar, while the interbank rate is N320.

“Who takes the N100 difference? We understand the system perfectly well that some people may be round-tripping the money. We are borrowing money at 29 per cent interest rate and you are still asking people, without providing any form of incentive, to bring their money and sell at the interbank rate. This is affecting the commodity sector.”

The CAN president stressed, “It is a boost to the economy if they allow us unfettered access to our proceeds. During former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s regime, we found out that our export proceeds through the agricultural sector were about $770m but that was shared because of the monetary policy of the CBN then. We went to the President and they gave us unfettered access. And when that was done, incentives were also added. The proceeds rose from $770m to $12bn.”

Nigeria’s cocoa performance in the global market in the past years had been hampered by dry weather, scanty rainfall as well as old and worn trees.

The Federal Government, during the last administration, targeted a yearly increase that would raise production to around 700,000 metric tonnes in 2016 and one million metric tonnes by 2020.

As such, farmers were provided with early-maturing, high-yielding and disease-resistant beans that mature in about 18 months to replace seedlings with four to five years’ maturity rate.

“We have distributed more than 140 million seedlings of high-yielding cocoa varieties to recapitalise the cocoa plantations, because they are old. That will give us a yield of almost five times. By 2020, Nigeria should be certainly in the one million metric tonnes cocoa production club,” the immediate past Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, had said in 2014.

The Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Mr. Segun Awolowo, last year said that a drop in cocoa production would adversely affect the target to increase yield.

“We need to scale up production; the idea is to surpass Ivory Coast and Ghana. Ghana is already at 700,000 metric tonnes, and we are still hovering around 240,000 metric tonnes, but the idea was to get to 500,000 metric tonnes in the next few years,” he said.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Crude Oil

Crude Oil Rises to $72 a Barrel on Strong Demand Recovery

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Brent crude oil - Investors King

Oil prices rose on Friday to fresh multi-year highs and were set for their third weekly jump on expectations of a recovery in fuel demand in the United States, Europe and China as rising vaccination rates lead to an easing of pandemic curbs.

Brent crude futures edged up 13 cents to $72.65 a barrel to 1145 GMT, a day after closing at their highest since May 2019.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 14 cents to $70.43 a barrel, a day after their highest close since October 2018.

U.S. investment bank Goldman Sachs expects Brent crude prices to reach $80 per barrel this summer as vaccination rollouts boost global economic activity.

The International Energy Agency said in its monthly report that OPEC+ oil producers would need to boost output to meet demand set to recover to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2022.

“OPEC+ needs to open the taps to keep the world oil markets adequately supplied,” the Paris-based energy watchdog said.

It said that rising demand and countries’ short-term policies were at odds with the IEA’s call to end new oil, gas and coal funding.

“In 2022 there is scope for the 24-member OPEC+ group, led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, to ramp up crude supply by 1.4 million barrels per day (bpd) above its July 2021-March 2022 target,” the IEA said.

Data showing road traffic returning to pre-COVID-19 levels in North America and most of Europe was encouraging, ANZ Research analysts said in a note.

“Even the jet fuel market is showing signs of improvement, with flights in Europe rising 17% over the past two weeks, according to Eurocontrol,” ANZ analysts said.

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Energy

Africa Oil Week Remains Force of Good for Africa

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Crude oil - Investors King

Hyve Group Plc, organisers of Africa Oil Week have confirmed that business opportunities and discussions at the 2021 edition will remain focused on driving investment into Africa for its sustainable socio-economic development, as it has done for the past 27 years.

The event which will temporarily move to Dubai for 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions in South Africa will take place on 8-11 November 2021 and has support from key African stakeholders.

Atty. Saifuah-Mai Gray, CEO of National Oil Company of Liberia said “As an oil and gas hub, Dubai represents a huge opportunity for Governments to meet a high concentration of investors with the financial and technical capability to partner in our national upstream”

Africa Oil Week is known for driving deals and transaction across the African oil and gas sector, and after being forced to host the 2020 edition virtually, confirmation that a live event will take place in 2021 has delighted clients.

Miriam Seleoane, Assistant Director at the Department of Trade and Industry and Competition said

“The DTIC has supported the Africa Oil Week for many years. For 2021 we will be taking a delegation of 20+ companies to the Oil Week to advance partnership and investment dialogue between our South African businesses and international partners. Africa Oil Week remains a huge platform for the DTIC and our South African private sector”.

The event will run under the theme “succeeding in a changed market”, and it will be the only large-scale oil and gas event focused solely on Africa to run in person in 2021.

In a previous statement, the organiser cited Dubai as the “next best location” after Cape Town due to the exceptional progress made in the UAE’s vaccination programme. Dubai is also the leading financial centre in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia and presents an opportunity for attendees to meet with new capital holders, further driving investment into Africa.

The 2022 event will return to Cape Town, where organises have said it is the event’s “natural home” and to which they are strongly committed for the long-term.

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Crude Oil

Crude Oil Rebounds on Thursday After Slipping on U.S Weak Demand

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Crude Oil - Investors King

Oil prices rose on Thursday a day after slipping on data indicating weak U.S. driving season fuel demand as investors eyed upcoming U.S. economic data.

Brent crude oil futures were up 18 cents, or 0.25%, at $72.40 a barrel, holding just shy of a high not seen since May 2019.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate oil futures rose 11 cents, or 0.16%, to $70.07 a barrel, staying near its highest since Oct. 2018.

“The market is recovering impressively from yesterday’s dismal weekly EIA report, the drop in weekly gasoline demand was particularly disappointing,” said Tamas Varga, analyst at PVM Oil Associates.

“It will interesting to see whether the monthly OPEC report due out later will confirm last month’s upbeat demand assessment for the second half the year. If it does, as expected, it should support oil prices.”

Varga added that U.S. inflation data and jobless claims would provide more direction on the health of world’s biggest economy and clues as to whether the Federal Reserve might start tapering stimulus.

U.S. crude oil stockpiles that include the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) fell for the 11th straight week as refiners ramped up output, but fuel inventories grew sharply due to weak consumer demand, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday.

Crude inventories that exclude the SPR fell by 5.2 million barrels in the week to June 4 to 474 million barrels, the third consecutive weekly drop. But fuel stocks were up sharply, with product supplied falling to 17.7 million barrels per day (bpd) versus 19.1 million the week before.

Implied gasoline demand fell to 8.48 million bpd in the week to June 4, down from 9.15 million bpd from the week before, but up from 7.9 million bpd a year ago, EIA data showed.

Weighing on prices, India’s fuel demand slumped in May to its lowest since August last year, with a second COVID-19 wave stalling mobility and muting economic activity in the world’s third largest oil consumer.

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