• ‘Hot’ chocolate

    'Hot' chocolate

    Côte d’Ivoire has lost about 125 000 tons of cocoa since the start of the 2017/18 harvesting season, as a result of beans being smuggled to neighbouring countries where farmers and traders are paid better prices.

    Since harvesting began last October, the country lost as much as 100 000 tons to its eastern border with Ghana, and another 25 000 tons via the western boundary with Liberia and Guinea, as reported by Bloomberg.

    The world’s top cocoa producer, Côte d’Ivoire has seen an increase in smuggling the season after the country lowered the minimum price for farmers by more than a third to the equivalent of $1 314 per ton as international contract prices declined. This opened an unusual payment gap with Ghana – the second largest cocoa producer – which left its minimum producer price at the equivalent of $1 700 per ton.

    According to estimates, the volume of cocoa smuggled represents 9.2% of the exports as at 25 February.

    25 April 2018
    Image: Gallo/Getty Images