Ivory Coast Said to See Main Cocoa Crop Match Last Season

Ivory Coast, the world’s largest cocoa producer, forecasts its main cocoa crop could match the previous season’s harvest, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Cocoa agency Le Conseil du Cafe-Cacao expects deliveries of 1.2 million metric tons to 1.3 million tons for the bigger of the two annual harvests which runs from Oct. 1 until the end of March, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. Last season’s main crop was 1.25 million tons, according to CCC data.

The size of the crop will depend on the timing and duration of West Africa’s annual desert winds, known as the Harmattan, said the people.

Eric Koffi, sales manager at the CCC, didn’t answer calls seeking comment after normal business hours on Wednesday. Managing Director Massandje Toure-Litse declined to comment on the exact forecast for the crop when asked by reporters in Abidjan, the commercial capital, earlier in the day.

The cocoa agency was expecting a “good” harvest for the entire season through September, Toure-Litse said.

Ivory Coast’s cocoa output dropped 13 percent to 1.565 million tons in the year through September after the worst Harmattan in three decades damaged crop quality.

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