YAOUNDE, Aug 19 (Reuters) - Purchases by Cameroon’s cocoa grinders were little changed at 32,020 tonnes in the 2012/13 season to end-July, from the previous season’s 32,303 tonnes, data from the National Cocoa and Coffee Board showed on Monday.
Trade minister Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana wants to increase local grinding. Cameroon, the world’s fifth-largest producer of cocoa beans, currently processes roughly 15 percent of its output into semi-finished products.
Leading grinder Sic-Cacaos, a subsidiary of Switzerland-based chocolate manufacturer Barry Callebaut , bought 29,967 tonnes of beans, down from 31,118 tonnes in 2011/2012.
Chococam (Chocolaterie Confiserie du Cameroun), the other local grinder, increased purchases to 2,002 tonnes from 1,185 tonnes last season. The remaining 51 tonnes were purchased by 50 unidentified individuals, the data showed.
Sic-Cacaos processes cocoa beans into cocoa cake, powder and cocoa liquor for sale in Central Africa’s six-nation CEMAC economic zone. Chococam manufactures chocolate for the local market.
Sic-Cacaos has announced plans to expand sales to the Nigerian market, while Chococam is seeking to push out from Cameroon to target other CEMAC countries. (Reporting by Tansa Musa; Editing by Joe Bavier and Jane Baird)