Cocoa Beans – Product Profile

June 28, 2018

Product Name:     –          Cocoa Beans

Botanical name:   –          Theobroma Cocao

HS Code 1801       –        (Whole or Broken, Raw or Roasted)


Brief Product Description:

The cocoa bean, also cacao bean or simply cocoa or cacao, is the dried and fully fermented fatty seed of Theobroma cacao, from which cocoa solids and cocoa butter are extracted. They are the basis of chocolate, as well as many Mesoamerican foods such as mole sauce.

A cocoa pod (fruit) has a rough and leathery rind about 2 cm (0.79 in) to 3 cm (1.2 in) thick (this varies with the origin and variety of pod). It is filled with sweet, mucilaginous pulp with lemonade like taste enclosing 30 to 50 large seeds that are fairly soft and a pale lavender to dark brownish purple colour. Due to heat build-up in the fermentation process, cacao beans lose most of the purplish hue and become mostly brown in colour, with an adhered skin which includes the dried remains of the fruity pulp. This skin is released easily after roasting by winnowing. White seeds are found in some rare varieties, usually mixed with purples, and are considered of higher value.


Major Producing Areas:

  • Ondo
  • Osun
  • Ekiti
  • Akwa Ibom
  • Cross River
  • Kogi
  • Ogun
  • Edo
  • Kwara


Estimate Production Figure:

270,000MT (ICCO 2018/2019)


Quality Standard:

Grade I:

(a)      mouldy beans, maximum 3 per cent by count;

(b)      slaty beans, maximum 3 per cent by count;

(c)      insect-damaged, germinated, or flat beans, total maximum 3%     .


Grade II:

(a)      mouldy beans, maximum 4 per cent by count;

(b)      slaty beans, maximum 8 per cent by count;

(c)      insect-damaged, germinated, or flat beans, total maximum 6%


Moisture:              –          7.5% max

Size:                                Not more than 12% outside the range

Foreign Matter:   –          2% max


Cocoa beans quality parameter specification:

Main crop                                                                      Light crop

—————————————————– ——————————————-

Parameters            Grade I     Grade II                           Grade I    Grade II

Total mould            3% max    4% max                            3% max   4% max

Slatey beans         3% max    6% max                            3% max   6% max

Other defect          3% max    8% max                            3% max    8% max

Wt of 300 beans    >310g       >310g                               <310 g    <310 g



The cocoa bean is mainly packed with Jute bag.  The jute bag must be clean and free of hydrocarbon.



  • Animal feed
  • soft drinks and alcohol
  • potash
  • jam &marmalade
  • organic mulch
  • cocoa butter
  • chocolate
  • cosmetics.


Importing Countries:

  • Barbados
  • Belgium
  • USA
  • Spain
  • Netherlands


Unexplored markets:   Iran, Malaysia, Russia, China, Canada

Export Potential of Cocoa

The markets with greatest potential for Nigeria’s exports of 180100 Cocoa beans are “Netherlands”, “Germany” and “Indonesia”.  Netherlands is the market with the highest demand potential for 180100 Cocoa beans. and new export markets (Singapore, Turkey) are estimated to show huge untapped potential for the coming years.

Find out all about the cocoa beans export potential in our one-page report and the video below! These are created making use of the Export Potential Map (ITC).