Friday , June 14 2024

Ivory Coast Suspends Cocoa Export Contracts for Current Season

Following recent weeks of torrential rains damaging and drowning fields, Ivory Coast authorities said the West African nation has ceased selling contracts for cocoa exports for the 2023–24 season.

Ivory Coast, the largest producer of cocoa in the world, has suffered as a result of record-high prices for the seed caused by shortage worries.

Ivory Coast is said to be dependent on cocoa because it makes up 40% of its export revenue, according to the United Nations.

The suspension will hurt consumers as well, hurting big commodity traders like Cargill and Olam as well as chocolate producers like Barry Callebaut, Hershey, and Nestle.

Sales had surpassed one million tons prior to the stoppage, according to Yves Brahima Kone, director general of the Coffee and Cocoa Council. A total of 2.2 million tons of output were anticipated for the current season.

The major harvest is anticipated to begin entering ports in October in preparation for exports, and cocoa production are anticipated to considerably fall.
According to Kone, the CCC halted cocoa sales.

“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 will help balance our volumes; otherwise, it will be a problem,” Kone said.

“We stopped the sales a few days ago because we are not certain of having enough volume to cover the sales,” added Kone.

The rainy season in Ivory Coast lasts from April to November. The cultivation of cocoa requires a lot of rain alternated with extended sunny periods.

However, recent weeks have seen intense tropical downpours in Ivory Coast and other key cocoa producers Ghana, Nigeria, and Cameroon, who together produce around 70% of the world’s cocoa.

Between May 15 and July 10, severe rains in the southwest and southeast cocoa-growing regions of Ivory Coast flooded a number of cocoa estates.

Jean Paul Kadjo, an Ivorian cocoa farmer, said flooding began on May 15 “and the situation is not improving because the rains do not stop.”

“Plantations are currently saturated with water,” added Kadjo.

Kouman Kouadio, 43, who own four hectares of cocoa plantations in the Aboisso region, said many farmers are worried about the threat to their livelihoods.

“Almost all the flowers fell after the rains, and rot is spoiling everything else. For now, we don’t see any upcoming harvest because there is nothing on the trees,” Kouadio said.

Ivorian farmers report that although most of the water has receded, the soil is struggling to absorb the rain that fell in recent weeks.

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