Import and consumer countries

While the raw material cocoa is still hardly processed into end products and consumed in small quantities in the producing countries, there is a strong demand for raw cocoa and cocoa products in the import and consumer countries. Since cocoa can only be grown economically in the tropical and subtropical regions along the equator to about 20 degrees north and south latitude, it is a valuable commodity on the world market.
Further information on the import of cocoa into Germany, on the processing and consumption of cocoa and chocolate goods can be found in the following overview.
The Association of the German Confectionery Industry publishes an annually updated overview of the important facts & figures on its website.

Cocoa imports to Germany

In 2018, Germany recorded net imports of almost 460,000 tonnes of cocoa at a value of around EUR 973 million. This makes Germany to one of the largest importers of raw cocoa worldwide. At the same time, Germany is one of the world's largest exporters of chocolate products. Numerous companies in the cocoa and chocolate industry produce chocolate and cocoa-containing products in Germany and export them to other countries.Germans are also world champions in the consumption of chocolate products. Per capita consumption in Germany is 9 kilograms. For further information, see the website of the BDSI.

The figures at a glance

Net import of cocoa: 459,678 t
Change over previous year: +6.3 %
Net import value: 972.7 million EUR
Change over previous year: -3.29 %
Main supplier countries by volume imported: Côte d'Ivoire (264,800 t; share of total imports: 57.6 %)
  Ghana (56,400 t; share of total imports: 12.3 %)
  Nigeria (91,100 t; share of total imports: 19.8 %)
Production of chocolate products: 1.105 million t
Per capita consumption of chocolate products: 9 kg

All figures refer to the year 2018. 
Source: BDSI (see Graphic and Pressrelease of 22.01.2019).

Cocoa grinding

An important step in the further processing of cocoa is the grinding of the cocoa beans. This is how cocoa mass and cocoa butter is obtained. This work is carried out both in the countries of cultivation and in the countries of import and consumption. Based on an estimate by the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO), the five most important countries for cocoa grinding:

  1.  Côte d'Ivoire: 605.000 t
  2.  Netherlands: 600.000 t
  3.  Indonesia: 487.000 t
  4.  Germany: 445.000 t
  5.  USA: 400.000 t

Cocoa consumption by quantity per country

Unlike the grinding of cocoa, the recording of the consumption quantities of cocoa shows a clear shift to Europe, North America, North and East Asia. The following countries are the international leaders here:

  1. USA: 816.500 t
  2. Germany: 342.600 t
  3. France: 226.300 t
  4. United Kingdom: 222.800 t
  5. Russia: 202.600 t

Figures based on harvest year 01.10.2018 to 30.09.2019;
Source: International Cocoa Organization QBCS, Vol. XLVI No. 1, Cocoa year 2019/20.


Export of chocolate products

The food industry is an important economic sector in Germany. It includes the confectionery industry. Their export strength, also in the chocolate sector, plays an important role here.
Germany leads the export list for chocolate products according to the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO):

  1. Germany: 761.326 t
  2. Belgium: 516.032 t
  3. Netherlands: 381.223 t
  4. USA: 341.501 t
  5. Canada: 330.786 t

Figures based on harvest year 01.10.2018 to 30.09.2019;
Source: International Cocoa Organization QBCS, Vol. XLVI No. 1, Cocoa year 2019/20.