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Ivory Coast, Mali Suspend Rice-Import Taxes to Keep Prices Low

Aug. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Ivory Coast suspended taxes on imported rice in a bid to prevent consumer prices from rising, while neighboring Mali extended a similar subsidy.

Ivory Coast scrapped import tariffs on rice for three months, a measure that will cost the government 7 billion CFA francs ($13 million), spokesman Bruno Kone told reporters in Abidjan, the commercial capital, today.

The West African nation consumes 1.6 million metric tons a year, while it produces only 600,000 tons, he said.

Mali extended a subsidy on import taxes for the staple food by two weeks until Aug. 20, Commerce Minister Ahmadou Toure told state broadcaster Radio Mali today.

To contact the reporters on this story: Baudelaire Mieu in Abidjan at bmieu@bloomberg.net; Diakaridia Dembele in Bamako at ddembele@bloomberg.net

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

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