Ivory Coast suspends cocoa exports

Ivory Coast suspends cocoa exports

Côte d’Ivoire has suspended its cocoa exports for the 2023-2024 season after heavy rains have hit the country in recent weeks and flooded many farms of the world’s largest cocoa producer.

Cocoa prices are currently at record highs due to concerns over supplies and this halt in sales will be a blow to the country, whose brown gold export revenues weigh 40%, according to the United Nations.

Yves Brahima Kone, director general of the Coffee and Cocoa Council (CCC), quoted by media, said that sales before the suspension had exceeded one million tonnes. The shutdown will also be a blow to buyers such as big commodity trading houses like Cargill and Olam and chocolate makers like Barry Callebaut, Hershey and Nestlé.

The main cocoa crop is expected to start flowing into ports from October, said Yves Brahima Kone, adding that production is expected to decline significantly.

“We expect much less cocoa in the first part of the main harvest compared to this season. We hope that the production from January to March 2024 will balance our volumes, otherwise it will be a problem. We stopped sales a few days ago because we are not sure we have enough volume to cover demand,” he added.

The heavy rains in Côte d’Ivoire have caused the death of thirty people since the beginning of April, as well as significant material damage, said the spokesman for the Ivorian government, Amadou Coulibaly.

Torrential rains followed by devastating floods are recurrent in the largest Ivorian city which has nearly six million inhabitants.


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