Temitayo Ayetoto, with agency…
Exporters of cocoa commodity in Ivory Coast are demanding that the industry regulator returns the costs and credit guarantees offered for contracts unmet due to a shortage of beans, according to four people familiar with the matter who spoke to the Bloomberg news service.
The world’s biggest cocoa producer exporters are striving to find beans after arrivals at the country’s ports slowed more than usual since the beginning of the year.
According to the Groupement des Negociants Ivoiriens, an exporters’ group, its members were unable to establish the cause of the slowdown.
Port arrivals were 25,000 metric tons for the week through February 25, compared with 40,000 tons for the same period in 2017 and 92,000 tons for the week through January 14, when deliveries for 2018 reached a peak, according to government data.
While some exporters want regulator Le Conseil du Cafe-Cacao to refund them and return guarantees for unmet contracts, others are offering to pay premiums for stock, said some sources.
But the CCC has kicked against their pay-back demand, arguing that it has until the end of March, when the bigger of the two annual harvests come to an end, to meet the contracts, sources said.
Mariam Sagnogo, a spokeswoman for the CCC, didn’t answer calls seeking comment.
Sources also reveal that the regulator needs 100,000 tons to 135,000 tons to meet all outstanding contracts for the main harvest.
In January, public data showed that the regulator auctioned and sold 1.438 million tons for the main harvest. It sold another 80,000 tons on January 19 to local shippers when the CCC anticipated a bigger-than-forecast crop, someone familiar with the situation said at the time. Deliveries for the season since the beginning of October to February 25 were 1.365 million tons.
The regulator, according to some sources, will later on meet with exporters for discussion.
The International Cocoa Organisation earlier averred that Ivory Coast will likely produce two million tons for the annual season through September, compared with 2.02 million tons in the year before.