Ivory Coast Said to Raise Cocoa Forecast to Record on Rain

Ivory Coast, the world’s biggest cocoa producer, raised its output target to a record after favorable rainfall in growing areas, a person familiar with the government’s forecast said. Cocoa declined for the first time in three weeks today in London.

The West African nation will harvest 1.6 million metric tons to 1.67 million tons of the chocolate ingredient in the 12 months ending Sept. 30, said the person who asked not to be identified because the information has not been made public. The government’s estimate in October was 1.45 million tons to 1.5 million tons, the person said. The previous record was about 1.5 million tons in 2011.

In addition to better rainfall the forecast was increased as new plantations in the country’s southwest started to produce this season, the person said without giving further details. Cocoa prices in London climbed 12 percent this year after two years of shortages. Prices fell 0.5 percent today, the first decline in London since May 14.

Mariam Coulibaly Dagnogo, a spokesman for Le Conseil du Cafe-Cacao, the government regulator, declined to comment when called by Bloomberg.

Farmers in Ivory Coast reap a main crop from October to March, while a smaller harvest, called the mid-crop, is produced from April to the end of September.

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