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Ivory Coast set for record cocoa harvest

 

Ivory Coast is on track for a record cocoa harvest in the 2018/19 season of 2.2 million tonnes, up from about 2 million tonnes last season.

The good news, farmers, exporters and middlemen said on Wednesday, is due to favorable weather and new plantations.

The main cocoa crop, which runs from October to March, is expected to hit a record 1.7 million tonnes, they said, up from 1.5 million tonnes last season.

Arrivals at Ivorian ports as of Sunday had increased by 46 percent since the beginning of the season compared to the same period last season.

However, analysts said wet weather, which has raised concerns among some farmers about possible fungal disease, could scupper the record harvest.

“Wet weather kind of works against the beans in the drying process and slows it down,” Stephen Mass, a commodities analyst at the Hightower Report told Reuters business.

“So it may cause near-term output to slow over the next couple of weeks,” he said.

Stephen Platt, futures specialist at Archer Financials, said that despite high production he expected cocoa prices to be supported by strong demand and a potential weakening of the dollar.

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