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Commodity exchange considers trading cocoa

As part of the medium-term plan for the trade of commodities in Ghana, the Ghana Commodity Exchange (GCX) is considering listing on its trading floor the light cocoa bean, which is mostly consumed by domestic processors.

Currently, the exchange does not trade cash crop contracts but plans to introduce a number of them in the coming years.

“In the medium-term period, we’re looking at bringing commodities such as the cash crops onto the trading floor of the exchange. We’re looking at also the possibility of trading the domestic cocoa here in Ghana—that is, the cocoa traded and used by processors here in Ghana,” Robert Dowuona Owoo, Chief Operating Officer of the GCX, said in an interview with Business24.

He noted that the plan is currently at the discussion stage, which will involve all stakeholders, such as the cocoa marketing company, in deciding the standards and protocols to be adopted for the trading of the commodity.

According to Cocobod, the industry regulator, about a third of Ghana’s annual cocoa beans output is processed domestically, with a target to boost this share to 50 percent.

Domestic processors will be able to buy their beans from the exchange when the crop is listed, said Mr. Owoo.

“The good thing is that it’s going to help determine the price on the international market,” he added.

Industry watchers say the introduction of cocoa would be a boost to the fast-expanding exchange, given the huge impact of cocoa on the Ghanaian economy.

“Listing of cocoa will expand the market volume of the exchange,” said vice president of the Ghana Commodity Brokers Association, Jeffery Ntorinkansah.

He added that the introduction of cocoa and other cash crops will attract investment to the GCX, especially as the government—which is presently the sole shareholder—intends to divest its interest in the exchange.

“When cocoa is listed, the international interested parties will see premium in investing. Fortunately, government’s willingness to offload its shares in the exchange will make it even more attractive for international investors,” the commodity expert said.

Mr. Owoo, of the GCX, said the exchange is also in the preparation and approval process to allow trading of cashew contracts.

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