These declines will more than offset a 25,000-tonne rise expected in Indonesia, the third-ranked producing country, where efforts to increase cocoa bean output "through better farming techniques and using better seeds, fertilizer and disease controls" are bearing fruit.
Indonesia will become as bigger contributor to world grindings too, the ICCO said, noting that "exports of semi-finished products have overtaken exports of beans, following the imposition of an export tax on raw cocoa beans".
Indonesia has undertaken a similar levy policy on palm oil, in an effort to encourage domestic processing, and keep in-country the added value from turning the raw vegetable oil into refined products.
Europe will see particular growth in grinding volumes, of more than 2%, rebounding from a rate of decline in the October-to-December period which, on European Cocoa Association estimates, reached 6%.
However, the ICCO highlighted "concerns" over the ECA data, following the withdrawal of an, unnamed, German processor from contributing to the statistics, "thereby affecting transparency" by reducing the statistics' grip on the market.
"Most analysts in the cocoa sector are of the view that the share of the ECA quarterly published figure, in relation to total processing activity in Western Europe, has been gradually declining," the organisation said.