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.

Signage in Ivory Coast fro cocoa meeting
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