Local media has reported that chocolate makers and buyers in Europe and the United States have asked the world’s largest cocoa grower to postpone deliveries scheduled for this October to December until later in the year or early next year.
An estimated 100,000 tonnes of beans is said to be waiting at farms and cooperatives, amounting to approximately one-third of the country’s monthly output at this time of year.
“It’s a vicious cycle,” one director of an international export company based in Abidjan told Reuters. “We don’t have enough room to continue buying cocoa and storing it. If we resumed exports to Europe and the US right now, there would be room here.”
The slowdown of exports is also affecting farmers’ ability to provide a living income for their families as stockpiling means the cooperatives lack cash and space to buy more beans from the farmers.