As the 2019-2020 cocoa marketing year opens in a context of global health crisis and sharp depreciation of commodity prices – cocoa has lost about 300 pounds per ton on international markets – Yves Brahima Koné, Director General of the Coffee-Cocoa Council (the regulatory body of the cocoa sector in Côte d’Ivoire) announced on Tuesday that the field price of « small milking » would be maintained at 825 CFA francs per kilo. This price is considered « unrealistic » by experts and untenable without a substantial subsidy.
On Tuesday, 31 March, during a conference held at the Caistab in Plateau, Yves Brahima Koné announced that the farm-gate price of cocoa beans would be maintained at 825 CFA francs per kilo, welcoming the authorities’ effort not to impact the income of farmers by maintaining the price of a kilo of brown gold, which remains unchanged compared to the main season ended on 31 March (as a reminder, the country harvests two crops a year): the main one, from October to March, and the intermediate one, from April to August; usually, the purchase price for the intermediate season is below that of the main season due to the discount resulting from the shrinkage of beans caused by the drought during this period), and higher than in the 2018-2019 intermediate season, when it was set at 750 CFA francs per kilo.
As explained by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Kobenan Kouassi Adjoumani during the same conference, if we look at the drop in world prices caused by the coronavirus pandemic, « the landside price for the intermediate season [should normally have been] 625 CFA francs per kilo ». Although the exact amount has not yet been revealed, the government is therefore expected to provide a subsidy of several billion CFA francs to enable exporters to buy the beans at the fixed farm-gate price. According to analysts, Côte d’Ivoire’s harvest for the second half of the season (1 April to 30 September) is expected to be 400-500,000 tonnes. The main season having ended with about 93% of the contracts executed by operators, the harvest at the end of March should reach 1.780 million tonnes, up from 1.656 million tonnes in 2019.