ACCRA — The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has announced that it would be raising some $1.3 billion for cocoa purchases for the next crop season 2018/2019.

According to a statement issued by the Board, it has also settled on 15 international banks that would help it raise the funds.

They include ABN AMRO Bank, Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Standard Chartered Bank and Ghana International Bank.

Ghana’s balance of trade is set to receive support from cocoa export and oil production revenues this year according to researchers at Standard Bank, parent company of Stanbic Bank Ghana.

This was contained in the April edition of the African Local Markets Monthly report prepared by Standard Bank.

The report further indicates that the Ghanaian economy is expected to remain strong due to increased cocoa export revenues. Ghana’s trade balance should receive a boost from increased cocoa export revenues. Since beginning of the year, cocoa prices have risen by over 40 percent to around US$2,700/mt as demand-supply dynamics appear to have adjusted to the lower price environment that was prevalent in 2017.

Commenting on the report, the Head of Global Markets at Stanbic Bank Ghana, Afua Bulley, said the rise in global cocoa prices will have an impact on the country’s Treasury.

The recent rise in cocoa prices will have a reasonably positive impact on the fiscus. Unlike in Cote d’Ivoire where the cocoa board reduced prices it paid to farmers, Ghana refrained from reducing prices � thus placing some pressure on the country’s fiscal accounts.

The 40 percent surge in cocoa prices since beginning of the year should certainly reduce the implied subsidy and alleviate fears of impending fiscal strain, she indicated.

The African Local Markets Monthly is a monthly report issued by the Standard Bank Group and focuses on the economic and financial outlook of African countries.