Ivory Coast cocoa farmers have mounted demand for a significant raise in cocoa farmgate prices ahead of the 2023/24 crop season which opens October 1.
Ivorian Platform for Sustainable Cocoa (PICD), the official mouthpiece of cocoa producers, said farmers are expecting nothing short of a 44.44% increase in the current farmgate price of 900FCFA per kilogram.
“Given the strategic role of cocoa in our economy, and also considering price trends on the international market over the last few months, producers are expecting a minimum price of 1,300FCFA ($2.12) per kilogram for the main 2023/24 season,” said PICD in a statement copied to Cocoa Post.
The expected farmgate price of the Ivory Coast cocoa farmers is equivalent to $137.8 per bag of 65kg of cocoa beans.
The current farmgate price for cocoa which was the equivalent of $1.33 per kilogram at the time of announcement in October 2022 represented a 9% rise over the previous season’s 825FCFA, a price the farmers noted as unimpressive.
“But despite [the] increase, the price was not enough to significantly improve the situation of producers,” said PICD.
The Ivorian Platform for Sustainable Cocoa (PICD) is a network of cocoa producer organisations and non-profit non-governmental organisations. It comprises 55 cocoa farmer cooperatives and 11 Non-Governmental Organisations.
Ivory Coast is the world’s top cocoa producer, and along with neighbouring Ghana produces about two-thirds of the world’s supply.
Last weekend, Ghana announced a 63.6% increase in its producer price for the 2023/24 cocoa season pegged at GHS1308.99 ($113) per 64kg bag.
President Akufo Addo said the unprecedented price hike is targeted at tackling smuggling as well as safeguarding the interest of cocoa farmers.
The price disparity between Ghana’s cocoa producer price and those of its neighbours Ivory Coast and Togo has been fingered as driving cross-border smuggling.
The country is expecting a slump in its 2022/23 production output from the projected 800,000 metric tons to 650,000 metric tons.
Across Ghana’s western border, the Conceil Cafe du Cacao, the Ivorian cocoa regulator, is also speculated to announce a 20% drop in production for the upcoming season on account of poor weather.
Production is expected to total about 1.8 million metric tons for the season, down from an average of about 2.25 million tons annually in recent years, according to a consensus from pod counters and exporters, Reuters reported on Monday.
These developments at the production end are said to increase the upward pressure on prices in the world market, with the ICO quoting $3,750.60 as its daily price for 13 September 2023.