Vietnam launches into cocoa market

Related tags Cocoa Indonesia Southeast asia

As with coffee and pepper, Vietnam may soon have a major stake in
the cocoa market, Reuters reports. In recent years the country has
already achieved...

As with coffee and pepper, Vietnam may soon have a major stake in the cocoa market, Reuters reports. In recent years the country has already achieved a major market share in the coffee and pepper markets and could become a significant mover in the cocoa business. "We want cocoa to be the next important crop for our farmers, but encouraging them to grow it isn't easy. We need to show farmers that they can make money by growing it,"​ said an official at the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development. In Daklak, Vietnam's principal coffee region in the central highlands, the government plans to plant 1,500-2,000 hectares of cocoa trees every year, with a target of developing 10,000 hectares by 2006-07, said Phan Muu Binh, director of the Agricultural & Rural Development Department for the region. "The province is carrying out a plan to develop cocoa, and at the moment we have 22 hectares of seedling trees with seeds imported from Malaysia,"​Binh said. Malaysian cocoa seeds are the best in Asia, he added. "We don't see it [being] as big a crop here as coffee. We do it simply because we have land,"​ he said. Cocoa is a crop that needs a lot more care than coffee, according to cocoa experts. Reuters reports that one cocoa expert, based in the Malaysian town of Tawau, believes Vietnam could be exporting cocoa by as early as 2005. The expert, who has done cocoa upgrading work in Vietnam and other cocoa producing regions, said the Vietnamese government has set aside as much as US$ 300,000 to buy cocoa seeds from Malaysia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. While Vietnam could become a significant cocoa producer in Asia by 2010, it won't be a threat to existing Asian producers, he said. Falling output in Malaysia has turned the country into a net importer of cocoa, with domestic grinders now having to obtain supplies from Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. That, along with potentially major growth in China's consumption, has created room for more cocoa production in Asia, as the combined output of existing regional producers won't be able to meet demand, he said. Source: Reuters

Related topics Market Trends