The Swiss cocoa processor said a first shipment of cocoa products left the port of San Pedro with Europe as its destination over the weekend.
“During this week there will be other container shipments leaving the ports of San Pedro as well as Abidjan with destination US, Mexico and Europe,” revealed a spokesperson for Zurich-based Callebaut.
The spokesperson told ConfectioneryNews.com that the shipments will arrive in Europe before the end of this month. "The shipments to the US and Mexico will arrive by the end of May or the first week of June," he added.
The pod-to-pallet chocolate producer stressed that while the overall situation in the Ivory Coast is improving daily, with banks resuming operations and food being supplied to retail outlets, public security is still not 100 per cent assured.
Reporting is third quarter earning results last week, US cocoa processor Archer Daniel Midland (ADM) said its Ivorian operations had resumed on a limited basis, and that it was “managing the situation daily.”
Cocoa exports from the world’s biggest cocoa producer ceased mid-January this year when internationally recognized president Alassane Ouattara called for an export ban in a bid to oust his rival Laurent Gbagbo, who had refused to step down.
The major exporters including ADM and Callebaut and also Cargill complied with Ouattara's demand. The European Union in January also imposed sanctions against Ivory Coast's ports, and this effectively prevented any exports from leaving the country.
Last week agri-commidity specialists said though the cocoa trade is getting back to normal, there remains uncertainty about how much of the Ivory Coast’s mid-crop will make it to the market, with the result that cocoa prices have remained high.
“Prices are up 13 per cent since the start of April on bargain hunting and end user buying,” said Rabobank last week in its weekly analysis of factors driving global agricultural markets.
“The domestic financial sector is still not up to previous levels suggesting credit during the mid-crop could be an issue,” said the Dutch group, which added that all eyes are now on the weather for the main crop, to be harvested this autumn.