Ivory Coast cocoa output hits record 2 mln tonnes – Ouattara

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ABIDJAN (Reuters) – Ivory Coast has brought in a record cocoa crop of 2 million tonnes of beans with three weeks still left in the 2016/17 season, the top producer’s President Alassane Ouattara said on Wednesday.

The figure is higher than Reuters’ most recent exporter estimate, which placed this season’s port arrivals at 1,966,000 tonnes by Sept. 3, up nearly 35 percent compared to the same period of the previous crop. [nL8N1LL1GD]

“From 2012 to 2016 we have averaged economic growth of 9 percent thanks to our agricultural sector,” Ouattara said in a speech to an international agriculture conference in the commercial capital, Abidjan.

He also said production in neighbouring Ghana, the world’s number two grower, had reached 1 million tonnes this season, on par with its 2010/11 record crop.

World cocoa prices have plunged this year as bumper crops in most major producer countries created a supply glut. The International Cocoa Organization forecasts a global surplus of 371,000 tonnes this season. [nL8N1LH640]

Ivory Coast and Ghana have held joint meetings aimed at harmonising cocoa production and marketing in an attempt to boost their influence over the New York and London markets.

Reporting by Loucoumane Coulibaly; Writing by Joe Bavier; Editing by Louise Heavens and Dale Hudson

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