As the start of the 2023-2024 cocoa season approaches, the Conseil Café-Cacao is stepping up pressure on the EU by continuing its blockade of forward sales of cocoa beans.
Faced with a tax adjustment of over CFA Francs 100bn, the US group, the largest exporter of Ivorian cocoa beans, is trying to negotiate with the Ivorian authorities through the US Chamber of Commerce in Ivory Coast.
The major foreign traders were the winners in Ivory Coast's main cocoa bean harvest that has just ended. This has heightened tension between the big players such as Cargill and local exporters, who blame foreign competitors for their supply difficulties.
Despite the Cocoa and Coffee Council's decision in February to limit sales to large traders, the head of the US trading giant's regional office was able to bargain for an additional quota of around 10,000 tonnes of cocoa beans, of which Cargill is the Ivory Coast's largest exporter.
Local cocoa exporters are experiencing significant supply issues and may not manage to honour the contracts that expire when the main 2022-2023 harvest ends this month. Citing lack of action from the cocoa regulatory board, they are asking the president to step in.