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Ivory Coast Said to Sell 1.1 Million Tons of Cocoa Beans

Ivory Coast, the world’s biggest cocoa grower, has sold about 1.1 million metric tons of beans this year through auctions where buyers purchase the crop before the actual harvest, an industry official said.

The twice-daily auctions, organized by the government’s Coffee and Cocoa Council and introduced in January as part of industry changes, will continue until the start of the 2012-13 harvesting season on Oct. 1, the official said, declining to be identified because the information hasn’t been publicly released.

The next main crop harvest in Ivory Coast, estimated by the council to be 1 million tons to 1.2 million tons, will be put up for sale, he said. The country aims to sell at least 80 percent of the total 2012-13 harvest through the auctions, he said.

Ivory Coast harvests the bulk of its crop during the October-to-March main season, with a light, or mid, crop that produces smaller beans running from April to September.

Cocoa for December delivery gained for a second day, rising 0.8 percent to 1,704 pounds ($2,743) a ton by 12:56 p.m. on the NYSE Liffe market in London.

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