Ivory Coast civil war leads to looming cocoa crisis
Business digest: African country provides 40 per cent of world’s cocoa, but currently faces export ban
The cocoa market is facing a crisis as the country normally responsible for 40 per cent of the world's production sinks into civil war. An export ban was placed on the Ivory Coast six weeks ago following president Laurent Gbagbo's refusal to step down after losing an election in November.
Cocoa prices have since jumped 15 per cent to $3,669 a tonne. Currently countries such as Ghana and Indonesia are able to fill the gap, but this will not be able to last long. The Ivory Coast normally exports 1.2m tonnes of cocoa, double what either Ghana or Indonesia normally produce in a year.
Last year's bumper crop is also helping to tide cocoa companies over for the moment. Whilst most big traders have said they will respect the ban, some, such as Nestle, have not.
"The market cannot function without the Ivory Coast," says Laurent Pipitone of the International Cocoa Organisation. "The price will go through the roof, that is certain."
Read a full report at BBC News. ·