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Ivory Coast to cap cocoa production at 2mn T to buoy prices

Ivory Coast and Ghana have teamed up in the past few months to impose a minimum floor price to exert more influence
01 Oct 2019
  • Ivory Coast and Ghana have teamed up in the past few months to impose a minimum floor price to exert more influence on international prices.
  • The world's largest cocoa producer, which expects to have produced about 2.2 million tonnes last season.

ABIDJAN: Ivory Coast will start capping cocoa production at 2 million tonnes from next year to bolster prices, a government official said on Tuesday, marking the beginning of the 2019/20 season.

The world's largest cocoa producer, which expects to have produced about 2.2 million tonnes last season, has said that it plans to limit output to cope with an oversupplied market in coordination with neighbouring Ghana.

The two countries produce about 60pc of the world's cocoa.

It was not clear how exactly the government regulator plans to monitor production, which comes from thousands of small independent farms.

It has historically struggled to stamp out illegal cocoa farming and smuggling.

But Tuesday's announcement contained the first official mention of a specific production limit and marks a new stage in protecting revenues in West African countries.

Ghana's production cap was also expected to be announced on Tuesday.

"Our goal is to control our production," said Yves Brahima Kone, head of the Coffee and Cocoa Council (CCC) on Tuesday. "If you produce too much, the price will go down."

CCC also said it had raised the new price it pays cocoa farmers to 825 CFA francs per kg for the 2019/20 main crop harvest, up from 750 CFA francs last season.

Ivorian farmers have complained about low prices in the past, but said they were happy with the new one.

"It is a good price for us farmers," said Daouda Kante who farms 7 hectares near Soubre. "It will help us save a little money at the end of the season."

Ivory Coast and Ghana have teamed up in the past few months to impose a minimum floor price to exert more influence on international prices.

But despite their production clout, they have had limited sway over prices, which have stayed low in recent years due to overproduction.