In Côte d'Ivoire, cocoa is the main agricultural export product. In the country, weather conditions play an important role in the marketing flow of raw materials.
The Coffee-Cocoa Council (CCC) of Côte d'Ivoire has decided to suspend forward sales of cocoa for the 2023/2024 campaign until further notice. This was revealed by Yves Brahima Kone, general director of the public body, in an interview with Reuters on July 13.
To explain this decision, the manager mentions the uncertainty about the sufficient supply of raw materials from production areas to cover sales. The situation is due to the heavy rains recorded between May 15 and July 10, which led to episodes of flooding.
“We expect much less cocoa in the first part of the main harvest compared to this season. We hope that January-March production will balance our volumes, otherwise it will be a problem,” says Mr Kone.
In addition, there is the threat of "pourriture brune" (or black pod disease), a fungal disease that affects cocoa trees and that develops in prolonged wet conditions. According to the CCC, this disease is already spreading in many plantations.
«The pourriture brune is advancing everywhere due to the rains. We are forming a team to evaluate the situation more objectively. This worries us and we must take measures to mitigate it," adds the person in charge. However, Mr Kone notes that to date, cocoa sales before the suspension had exceeded one million tonnes, representing approximately 50% of the expected crop of 2.2 million tonnes.
In general, it should be noted that this suspension of sales occurs at a time when cocoa prices are on the rise. With concerns about supply, the ton of grain has reached its highest level in 46 years in the forward market of the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) in London.