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Cocoa prices rise following threats by Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire to cut supply

Cocoa prices have increased sharply after the two highest producers of cocoa threatened to stop selling their products to buyers who are unwilling to meet a minimum price.

People work with cocoa beans in Enchi, in a file photo. Picture taken June 17, 2014.  REUTERS/Thierry Gouegnon

The two African countries together produce about 60% of the world's cocoa production.

On Wednesday, which is a day after cocoa stakeholders agreed on a minimum price $2,600 per tonne, the price of the produce went up by 1.4% to cost $2,540 on the New York listing.

At the end of the meeting which was held in Accra, the Chief Executive of the Ghana Cocoa Board Joseph Boahen Aidoo said at a press conference that even though their demands had been accepted there would be a follow-up meeting to work out how to implement the agreement.

"Ivory Coast and Ghana have suspended the sale of the 2020/2021 crop until further notice for preparation of the implementation of the floor price," he said.

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"This is the first time when the producers have called consumers and the first time whereby suppliers have called buyers to come and engage on price," he said.

"Over the years it has been the buyers who have determined the price for the suppliers,” he added.

Earlier, on the sidelines of the meeting, the chief of Cote d'Ivoire's coffee and cocoa council, Yves Kone, said the industry needed a price that amounted to "a decent compensation" for the efforts of workers.

The world's cocoa market is worth around $100 billion, of which only $6 billion go to producers.

However, commodities analyst at ABN Amro, Casper Burgering, told AFP that the current price rise may be temporary as supply was more than sufficient to meet world demand.

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Another analyst, at Commodafrica in Paris, believes prices will be adjusted upwards due to the drought in Ivory Coast which may lead to a shortfall in the coming cocoa harvest.

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