S Sulawesi`s cocoa bean exports wown 34 pct

S Sulawesi`s cocoa bean exports wown 34 pct

(ANTARA/Muhamad Nasrun)

Makassar, South Sulawesi (ANTARA News) - South Sulawesi`s cocoa bean exports through Makassar`s Soekarno-Hatta Seaport, in the January-June 2011 period fell by about 34 percent from the same period in 2010, an exporter said.

Chairman of the Indonesian Cocoa Association (Askindo) of South Sulawesi in Makassar Yusa Rashid Ali, said over the weekend that South Sulawesi`s cocoa exports until June 2011 were recorded at only 29 thousand tons with a value of 87 million U.S. dollars, down drastically to 44 thousand tons with a value of 122 million U.S. dollars in the same period last year.

According to him, South Sulawesi cocoa production in 2010 was recorded at about 120 thousand tons, while the exported one was about 80 thousand tons. The remaining ones were sold to the domestic market and to local industries.

"It is possible that some stocks are still kept in the warehouses but in the previous year we also experienced the same thing. We as market players are predicting that our production will go down by 30 percent this year," Yusa said.

So far, South Sulawesi`s cocoa exports were shipped to Singapore, Malaysia, the United States and Brazil.

He said that the cause of the drop in South Sulawesi`s cocoa production was among others due to the conversion of cocoa plantations to agricultural land for other types of crops that have higher economic values.