PETALING JAYA: Cocoa processor Guan Chong Bhd expects the volatile global cocoa prices arising from lower demand and overcapacity to be over by the end of the year.
Managing director and chief executive officer Brandon Tay said in a statement following the company’s AGM that the cocoa grinding industry had a bad start to the year, particularly due to the economic uncertainty in the eurozone, which had then affected prices and demand for cocoa ingredients.
“We, however, remain optimistic that the uncertainty in the global cocoa markets would be over by year-end,” he said.
Tay saw “some sweet spots” in Asia, which the company aimed to tap on the back of the rising demand for chocolates.
He also expected a rising take-off of the company’s capacity from the food and beverage (F&B) multinational corporation customers in the region due to rapidly rising consumption of cocoa-based products.
The company will focus on the marketing and sales of cocoa ingredients directly to F&B companies in Asia and grow sales contribution from the current 6.2% in the financial year ended Dec 31, 2012.
The grinding of cocoa beans in Asia continued to surge to 897,000 tonnes in 2012/2013, versus 874,000 tonnes in 2011/2012, according to estimates by the International Cocoa Organisation.
The increase in grinding of cocoa beans is evident in Indonesia, Malaysia and other countries in the Asean region, which indicates the growing demand by Asean consumers.
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