Ivory Coast cocoa farmers concerned over lower-than-expected cocoa prices

Ivory Coast cocoa farmers concerned over lower-than-expected cocoa prices: Ghana News
A worker carries a bag of cocoa beans on his head in San-Pedro| Photo: Reuters

Summary

  • farmers say farmgate price lower than expected
  • Neighbour Ghana boosts farmgate price by more than 63%
  • Ivory Coast cocoa regulator promises to tackle smuggling

Cocoa farmers and exporters in Ivory Coast are worried that the fixed farmgate price for cocoa beans this season, set by the world's top cocoa exporter, may encourage smuggling to neighboring countries where higher prices can be obtained.

Ivory Coast raised the fixed farmgate price for cocoa beans by 11% to 1,000 CFA francs ($1.62) per kilogram for the main crop of the season, up from 900 CFA francs/kg in the previous season.

However, some in the cocoa industry expected a higher price given the global rise in cocoa prices.

“We have a difference of around $180 per tonne between the price in Ivory Coast and Ghana. It's huge and it's a factor that will accelerate the smuggling of Ivorian beans to Ghana this year,” warned an anonymous European cocoa trader.

Cocoa futures have reached 46-year highs recently due to supply concerns in . Neighboring Ghana, the world's second-largest cocoa producer, increased its 2023/2024 farmgate cocoa price by over 63%.

Estimates suggest that around 120,000 tonnes of cocoa were smuggled from Ivory Coast to and last season.

The Ivory Coast Cocoa and Coffee Council (CCC) regulator seized 40 tonnes of cocoa in the Man region last week, intended for transport to a neighboring country.

CCC CEO Yves Brahima Kone pledged to intensify efforts against cocoa smuggling, emphasizing the need for vigilance in the sector.

Ivory Coast farmers, once hopeful due to rising global prices, have expressed disappointment and resignation over this season's farmgate cocoa price.

Reporting by Ange Aboa; Writing by Bate Felix; Editing by Jan Harvey

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