Chocolate gold: Ivory Coast and Ghana set a fixed price for cocoa

To protect farmers, the world's top two cocoa producers agreed to coordinate on 2020-2021 cocoa bean prices.

    According to data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the Ivory Coast is the largest producer of cocoa beans worldwide [Thierry Gouegnon/Reuters]
    According to data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the Ivory Coast is the largest producer of cocoa beans worldwide [Thierry Gouegnon/Reuters]

    The Ivory Coast and Ghana will not sell cocoa from the 2020-2021 crop for less than $2,600 per tonne, Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara said on Tuesday, affirming his country's resolve to stick to a deal with Ghana to coordinate prices.

    The two West African neighbours joined forces in June to impose a floor price for cocoa of $2,600 per tonne and a live income differential of $400 per tonne.

    "We will not sell the 2020-21 crop for below $2,600 per tonne," Ouattara said in a televised address.

    He also said he wanted the guaranteed price for farmers to return to 2015 levels of 1,000 CFA francs ($1.71) per kilogramme from the current level of 750 CFA francs ($1.28) per kilogramme.

    "We will raise the cocoa price on October 1," he said, in reference to this farm-gate price.

    Changing course

    The move is a dramatic change of course from only a few weeks ago. On July 16, Ghana and the Ivory Coast had given in to pressure from the global chocolate industry and lifted a month-long ban on cocoa sales that was meant to push international buyers to accept a  $2,600-a-tonne minimum agreement.

    At the time, the two countries settled for a fixed premium price under which farmers in Ghana and the Ivory Coast would get $400 premium per every tonne of cocoa beans they sell during the 2020-2021 harvest season.

    SOURCE: Reuters news agency