Historical Cocoa beans Graph 54 Years (1960- 2014)Posted: October 12, 2014
The Ancient Mesoamerican Currency!
The cocoa bean, also cacao bean or simply cocoa (/ˈkoʊ.koʊ/) or cacao (/kəˈkaʊ/), is the dried and fully fermented fatty seed ofTheobroma cacao, from which cocoa solids and cocoa butter are extracted. They are the basis of chocolate, as well as manyMesoamerican foods such as mole sauce and tejate.
A cocoa pod (fruit) has a rough and leathery rind about 3 cm (1.2 in) thick (this varies with the origin and variety of pod). It is filled with sweet,mucilaginous pulp (called ‘baba de cacao’ in South America) enclosing 30 to 50 large seeds that are fairly soft and white to a pale lavender color. While seeds are usually white, they become violet or reddish brown during the drying process. The exception is rare varieties of white cacao, in which the seeds remain white. Historically, white cacao was cultivated by the Rama people of Nicaragua.
The cacao tree is native to the Americas. It may have originated in the foothills of the Andes in the Amazon and Orinoco basins of South America, current day Colombia andVenezuela, where today, examples of wild cacao still can be found. However, it may have had a larger range in the past, evidence for which may be obscured because of its cultivation in these areas long before, as well as after, the Spanish arrived. New chemical analyses of residues extracted from pottery excavated at an archaeological site at Puerto Escondido in Honduras indicate that it was here where cocoa products were first consumed between 1400 and 1500 BC. The new evidence also indicates that, long before the flavor of the cacao seed (or bean) became popular, it was the sweet pulp of the chocolate fruit, used in making a fermented (5% alcohol) beverage, which first drew attention to the plant in the Americas. The cocoa bean was a common currency throughout Mesoamerica before the Spanish conquest.
Cacao trees will grow in a limited geographical zone, of approximately 20 degrees to the north and south of the Equator. Nearly 70% of the world crop is grown in West Africa.
Cocoa was an important commodity in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. A Spanish soldier who was part of the conquest of Mexico by Hernán Cortés tells that when Moctezuma II, emperor of the Aztecs, dined, he took no other beverage than chocolate, served in a golden goblet. Flavored with vanilla or other spices, his chocolate was whipped into a froth that dissolved in the mouth. It is reported that no fewer than 60 portions each day may have been consumed by Moctezuma II, and 2000 more by the nobles of his court.
Chocolate was introduced to Europe by the Spaniards, and became a popular beverage by the mid 17th century. They also introduced the cacao tree into the West Indies and thePhilippines. It was also introduced into the rest of Asia and into West Africa by Europeans. In the Gold Coast, modern Ghana, cacao was introduced by an African, Tetteh Quarshie.
The cacao plant was first given its botanical name by Swedish natural scientist Carl Linnaeus in his original classification of the plant kingdom, who called it Theobroma (“food of the gods”) cacao.
Chocolate is seen to be affected by the effects of global warming.
Cocoa trees grow in hot, rainy tropical areas within 20° of latitude from the equator. Cocoa harvest is not restricted to one period per year. Usually it occurs over several months and in many countries cocoa can be harvested at any time of the year. Pesticides are often applied to the trees to combat capsid bugs and fungicides to fight black pod disease.
Immature cocoa pods have a variety of colors but most often are green, red, or purple, and as they mature their color tends towards yellow or orange, particularly in their creases. Unlike most fruiting trees, the cacao pod grows directly from the trunk or large branch of a tree rather than from the end of a branch, similar to jackfruit. This makes harvesting by hand easier as most of the pods will not be up in the higher branches. The pods on a tree do not ripen together; harvesting needs to be done periodically through the year. Harvesting occurs between three and four times to weekly during the harvest season.The ripe and near-ripe pods, as judged by their color, are harvested from the trunk and branches of the cocoa tree with a curved knife on a long pole. Care must be used when cutting the stem of the pod to avoid injuring the junction of the stem with the tree, as this is where future flowers and pods will emerge. It is estimated one person can harvest 650 pods per day.
Biggest Producers of Cocoa in the World
|Country||Amount produced||Percentage of world production|
|Côte d’Ivoire||1.23 million tons||34.7%|
|Ghana||746 thousand tons||20.6%|
|Indonesia||489 thousand tons||13.8%|
|Cameroon||220 thousand tons||5.9%|
|Nigeria||210 thousand tons||5.9%|
|Brazil||165 thousand tons||4.7%|
|Ecuador||130 thousand tons||3.7%|
|Malaysia||32 thousand tons||0.9%|
Rest are : Nigeria, Cameroon, Ecuador , Brazil, Ecuador, Mexico, Dominican Republic and Peru
- 1974: 1,556,484 tons,
- 1984: 1,810,611 tons,
- 1994: 2,672,173 tons,
- 2004: 3,607,052 tons.
The production increased by 131.7% in 30 years, representing a compound annual growth rate of 2.9%.
More info: SOURCE
Some Market Facts about Cocoa Beans
– The size of each Traded contract is 10 metric tons
Although cocoa is one of the world’s smallest soft commodity markets, it has global implications on cocoa importers and exporters, food and candy producers, and the retail industry.
Commodity code is CJ
How much is a metric ton?
1 CJ (Cocoa Beans Futures Contract) Equivalent:
The size of each contract is 10 metric tons in the NYSE
One futures contract – $3057 x 10 = $30,570 USD
Mexican Peso – $3057 USD – Interbank rate (Oct 12 2014) – 13.45
1 Ton – $41, 117 MXN
1 CJ Futures contract (10 t) – $411,117