Cocoa futures in London are trading near the lowest in four years as a rebound in production is leaving the global market oversupplied. Plummeting prices are hurting the finances of producing nations and incomes for hundreds of thousands small-scale farmers.
Ivory Coast, the top grower, had to reduce the price paid to farmers by 36 percent for the smaller harvest which started last month and trimmed its 2017 budget by a 10th. 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.”
Ghana lost almost $1 billion in export value because of lower prices, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, the chief executive officer of the country’s cocoa regulator, said in April.