ABIDJAN – Ivory Coast sold forward 1.32 million tonnes of its 2017/18 cocoa crop by Aug. 25, already hitting its upper limit on advance sales because of an expected drop in output, two sources from the the Coffee and Cocoa Council (CCC) said on Wednesday.
The world’s top grower is on course for a record harvest this season, with traders and exporters predicting production of 2 million tonnes or more. But most observers expect a dip in output in the upcoming season, which opens in early October.
The CCC sells forward 70-80 percent of the crop ahead of each season to set a guaranteed price for farmers.
“We hit 1.32 million tonnes on Aug. 25 and, according to our production forecasts for the next harvest, that’s the maximum we can sell. So we’ll stop sales at the end of the month,” one CCC source told Reuters.
The marketing board expects output of about 1.3 million tonnes of beans during the forthcoming October-to-March main crop, down from about 1.535 million tonnes this season, the official and a second CCC source said.
They blamed the decline on cool weather and heavy rainfall that has damaged the setting for the 2017/18 crop since July.
The CCC will also roll over into next season about 80,000 tonnes of 2016/17 export contracts that were not executed because of quality and pricing issues, the two officials said.
Reporting by Ange Aboa; Writing by Joe Bavier; Editing by David Goodman