Cocoa prices remain slack

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Cocoa prices, Ivory coast, Cocoa bean, Côte d'ivoire

Prices remain steady for cocoa, despite news that the start of the
new cocoa harvesting season from the world's biggest producer,
Ivory Coast, has been delayed due to a dispute.

Cocoa prices have witnessed a steady decline since 2002 when cocoa futures hit 17-year highs, above £1,600 a tonne, at the pinnacle of the civil war in the Ivory Coast.

Today supply continues to outstrip demand, pulling prices to lows.

Media reports this weekend that the Ivory Coast was not ready for the opening of the new season on 1 October did not spike the price, on Monday slated at £837 a tonne for December.

"The crop should be coming through later, but it will still arrive. The market has seen very little change,"​ a London cocoa futures trader told FoodNavigator.com​.

According to a BBC report, the latest disagreement in the Ivory Coast centres on the fact that a minimum-pricing scheme was abandoned in 2000 in favour of a sliding levy scale which returns funds to growers should they be affected by heavy losses on the global markets.

"Many Ivory Coast growers prefer the old minimum price system, saying the newer method does not offer them suitable protection,"​ writes the BBC.

Global chocolate supplier Barry Callebaut recently reported that low cocoa prices had affected activities at the processing arm of the company.

The Swiss chocolate firm that processes some 520,000 tonnes of cocoa annually out of a market of 3.1 million tonnes has cut back on this side of the business, knocked by current low cocoa prices on the market.

But acquisitions in its consumer chocolate unit have helped offset lower cocoa prices, and the Swiss firm reported a 10 per cent rise in first half net income to SF83.6 million (€53.3m) in February this year.

Related topics: Ingredients, Cocoa & Sugar

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