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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Africa Soft Commodities Three C’s Coffee, Cocoa, and Cotton Are Vital to NYSE

Africa production of soft commodities

Coffee, Cocoa, Cotton
The definition of soft commodities is a resource that is grown rather than mined such as coffee, cocoa, and cotton. African influences are extensive in the soft commodities especially in the cases of coffee, cocoa and cotton.

The three C’s of coffee, cocoa and cotton are of vital importance to the international soft commodities trade and the African economy.

Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture

Most of Africa's production of soft commodities including food is grown for local consumption. Unroasted coffee is Africa’s leading soft commodities value export, cocoa beans are second and cotton lint is the third.


Unroasted Coffee

Coffee is a berry classified as a fruit
Coffee is a berry classified as a fruit
Ethiopia is the world’s fifth largest coffee producer and Africa’s top producer. Coffee is Ethiopia's principal source of income and the worlds demand for quality coffee is increasing steadily. 

More than 15 million people grow the crop for a living, hundreds of thousands of middlemen are involved in the collection of the crop from farmers and supply to the export and domestic market. 

A sizable amount of foreign exchange, accounting up to 30% of the total yearly export income, is derived from coffee. In Ethiopia, coffee can still be found growing wild in the forests. Ethiopia is where the coffee plants Coffea Arabica, Canephora and Liberica originates. Three foremost regions where Ethiopian coffee beans originate are Harrar, Ghimbi, and Sidamo also known as Yirgacheffe.

Cocoa Beans

Ripe cocoa pod and beans
Ripe cocoa pod and beans
The Cacao tree is the source of cocoa beans, chocolate and so much more. The cacao tree grows wild in the forests of tropical regions but is also one of the tender trees of tropical growth. 

Africa produces well over 65% of the world’s cocoa beans. Many African countries now grow cocoa trees, Sierra Leone, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and Congo but the main producers are Ghana, Nigeria and Cote d'Ivoire. 

There are three broad types of cocoa forastero and crillo plus trinitario. Forastero is the major portion of all cocoa grown, amelonado is a forastero variety most widely grown in West Africa and other regions. The peak time for harvesting Cocoa trees is between September and December in West Africa. Cocoa has always grown in many parts of the African tropics. The cacao-tree grows wild in the forests of tropical regions growing well in humid tropical climates with regular rains and a short dry season.

Cotton Lint

Raw Cotton
Raw Cotton
Cotton accounts for US $3.3 billion, the majority of the Benin's revenue. The economy of Benin is dependent on subsistence agriculture, cotton production, and regional trade. 

The top export is cotton around 40% of $8.3 billion Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or $3.3 billion, corn, manioc, tapioca, yams, beans, palm oil, peanuts, cashews, and livestock round-out the remaining exports. 

The number of cotton growers is around 235,500. After a difficult period, production is now once again getting under way, but with output likely to be below Benin’s glory days as King of Cotton. Planting is in the months from May to June, and harvesting is between October and December. Benin’s major export partners are China 25%, India 23.5%, Lebanon 18.7%, Niger 4.3%, and Nigeria 4%. 

Benin includes four differentiated cotton-growing areas, Northern zone in Alibori and Atacora, North-central zone in Borgou and Donga, Central zone in Zou and Collines and Southern zone in Ouémé, Plateau, Couffo and Mono.

Africa soft commodities

Africa's production of soft commodities

Unroasted coffee is Africa’s leading value export, cocoa beans are second and cotton lint is the third.

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