Ivory Coast Plans More Cocoa Grinding at San Pedro Sites

Ivory Coast, the world’s biggest cocoa producer, probably will increase processing of the beans around the port of San Pedro by about 56 percent to more than 300,000 metric tons a year by 2015 as Olam International Ltd. sets up a plant and existing factories expand output, Industry Minister Moussa Dosso said.

Singapore-based commodity trader Olam will open a grinding facility in the western port with a capacity of 120,000 tons a year by the end of 2013, Dosso said in an interview on July 27.

“Ivory Coast will no longer satisfy itself with exporting raw commodities,” Dosso said. “We’re going to boost industrialization by setting up incentive conditions. After the cocoa sector, from which we want to get more value-added, we’ll focus on the cashew sector.”

Ivory Coast’s government wants to boost cocoa processing to 50 percent of its annual crop as part of the changes announced last year, which include a plan to give farmers more money for their beans. The policies were part of requirements to get $4.4 billion in debt relief from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

San Pedro already has three cocoa-processing plants. Zurich-based Barry Callebaut AG, the world’s biggest maker of bulk chocolate, has a facility that grinds 145,000 tons of cocoa while the Choco Ivoire factory processes 27,000 tons, Dosso said. Ivorian grinder Sucso SA processes 20,000 tons. Choco Ivoire and Sucso are also planning to extend their factories, Dosso said.

Choco Ivoire wants to boost its grinding capacity to 60,000 tons within the next two years, company President Adnan Amer said in an interview in San Pedro today. Sucso expects to increase the processing capacity of its factory to 25,000 tons, Chief Executive Officer Martial Yace said.

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