Ivory Coast Cuts Budget as Cocoa Decline Slashes Export Earnings

Ivory Coast cut its budget after the slump in cocoa prices cost the West African nation’s economy 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) in lost export earnings over the past year, President Alassane Ouattara said.

Annual spending is being reduced by 250 billion francs ($413 million), Ouattara said on state television Thursday in the commercial capital, Abidjan.

“This is a considerable amount,” Ouattara said. “Ivory Coast is going through very, very difficult times.”

Cocoa futures in London are trading near the lowest level in four years as a rebound in production leaves the global market oversupplied. Plummeting prices are hurting the finances of producing nations and incomes for hundreds of thousands small-scale farmers. Ivory Coast is the top grower of the beans. Neighboring Ghana, the second-biggest producer, lost $1 billion of potential exports earnings because of the price drop, the industry regulator said last month.

Ouattara also said that disgruntled soldiers who led a mutiny over pay in January, paralyzing several cities throughout the country, have given up all their financial demands.

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