Top Cocoa Grower Is Said to Complete Sales of Next Harvest

(Bloomberg) -- Ivory Coast, the world’s biggest cocoa producer, finalized sales from the next main harvest after selling more than 1.5 million metric tons of beans, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Prices for purchases ranged between 1,050 CFA francs ($1.84) and 1,100 francs per kilogram, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. Mariam Dagnogo, a spokeswoman for regulator Le Conseil du Cafe Cacao, declined to comment when contacted by phone.

The sales for the season that starts Oct. 1 compare with 1.45 million tons of cocoa that farmers sent to ports during the six-month main crop that ended in March and 1.5 million tons the year before, according to government data obtained by Bloomberg.

Late Bidding

The West African nation finalized its sales earlier than normal to avoid a repeat of late bidding, which exacerbated pressure on prices in 2016 and 2017 when futures tumbled almost 40 percent. Cocoa futures traded in London have surged 17 percent this year, partly as a global surplus turned out to be smaller than usual.

The cocoa regulator will use sale and international prices to determine next season’s minimum compensation for producers. Farmers are usually paid 60 percent to 70 percent of the average sales price and received 700 francs in the previous main crop.

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