Indonesia, Guinea to Join ICCO Under Agreement as of Oct. 1

The International Cocoa Organization said Indonesia, Guinea and the Democratic Republic of Congo will join the group under a cocoa agreement on Oct. 1.

That will bring membership to 47 from 44, Jean-Marc Anga, acting executive director of the ICCO, said at a press briefing in London today. Anga said he agreed to become the permanent executive director as of Oct. 1 and that the ICCO will move its headquarters to the west of London next year. A relocation to Abidjan, Ivory Coast, the world’s largest cocoa producer, will be considered in September 2015, he said.

The ICCO has approved a study at the request of Ivory Coast about starting a commodity exchange in West Africa, modeled after the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange, Anga said. It won’t necessarily just be for cocoa, he said.

Cocoa production in the 2012-13 year will probably be lower than the current season because of dry weather in West Africa and demand will be higher, leaving another shortage, Laurent Pipitone, senior statistician at the ICCO, said at the briefing. The ICCO is keeping its estimate for a shortage of 19,000 tons for the current season, he said.

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