Ivory Coast Cocoa Purchases Top 2 Million Tons for Record Crop

Ivory Coast produced a record cocoa harvest in the season that ends this weekend, with purchases in the world’s biggest grower of the beans exceeding 2 million metric tons for the first time.

Cocoa purchases in the West African nation totaled 2.015 million tons through Sept. 24 since the start of the season in October, Lambert Kouassi Konan, chairman of the board of directors at industry regulator Le Conseil du Cafe-Cacao, told reporters Friday in the commercial capital, Abidjan. That’s an increase of 29 percent from the 1.568 million tons harvested in the previous season, Konan said.

Exports for the period rose 23 percent to 1.926 million tons.

Bumper harvests in Ivory Coast and neighboring Ghana, the second-biggest producer, have helped push the global cocoa market into a surplus and weighed on prices. The slump caused exporters who bet that prices would increase to default on their contracts, prompting the regulator to resell some purchases.

“Some operators have speculated on the market, which is regrettable,” Konan said. “They were failing and the quantities were resold at a loss.”

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