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Ivory Coast San Pedro Port Traffic Doubles on Transshipments

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Oct. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Traffic of goods at Ivory Coast’s second-biggest port, San Pedro, doubled by the end of September to 2.4 million metric tons from a year earlier because of increased transshipments, marketing director Guy Manoi said.

About 3.5 million tons of goods are expected to be handled by the year’s end, almost double 2011’s 1.8 million tons, he said yesterday in a telephone interview from San Pedro. The port has an annual capacity of 5 million tons, he said.

“After a slow start of the cocoa season caused by the time needed before everyone could adapt to the reforms, activity should really take off by early November,” he said. “Stocks with the new season’s beans are being readied for export.” Transshipping, which includes the consolidation or separation of cargoes for onward transport, already boosts traffic, he said.

Ivory Coast, the world’s biggest cocoa producer, is recovering from a crisis that killed more than 3,000 people after a disputed election in November 2010. Businesses halted operations and cocoa and coffee exports largely stopped during five months of fighting early in 2011.

Total exports amounted to 740,000 tons through September, Manoi said. Cocoa exports declined 6 percent to 425,000 tons from a year earlier, he said. San Pedro, the smaller of two international ports in the West African nation, was built in the western cocoa-producing region and handles shipments of the chocolate ingredient.

To contact the reporter on this story: Olivier Monnier in Abidjan at omonnier@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net

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