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Ivory Coast Gets Customs Revenue Boost as Cocoa Shipments Resume

March 7 (Bloomberg) -- Ivory Coast’s customs department earned 11 percent more than expected last month after cocoa shipments began following a dispute over a new system of selling the beans, said Issa Coulibaly, director-general of customs.

Revenue at the West African nation’s customs department reached 93 billion CFA francs ($186 million) in February, more than forecasted earnings of 84 billion francs, he said in an interview in the commercial capital, Abidjan, yesterday.

“Cocoa shipments have fully resumed,” Coulibaly said.

Ivory Coast, the world’s biggest producer of the chocolate ingredient, began advanced sales of the beans in January. Some exporters declined to participate in the auctions, demanding that authorities provide guarantees before the upcoming harvest is sold under the new system. An agreement was reached last month.

The country may produce 1.39 million metric tons of cocoa in the current 2011-2012 crop harvest, Edward George, a commodity specialist at Ecobank Transnational Inc., said in an e-mailed report today.   

To contact the reporter on this story: Baudelaire Mieu in Abidjan at bmieu@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Emily Bowers at ebowers1@bloomberg.net

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