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Cocoa prices volatile

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Cocoa prices volatile

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Cocoa prices have picked up as a prolonged conflict between presidential rivals in Ivory Coast appeared close to a conclusion.

Ivory Coast is the world’s top producer and prices have been volatile over the past few months.

Experts say that almost half a million tonnes of cocoa that has piled up in warehouses in Ivory Coast, as months of sanctions halted shipments, is expected to still be fit for export despite heat and humidity.

Jonathan Parkman, joint head of agriculture at brokerage Marex Financial said that as that cocoa is released and exports restarted cocoa futures could fall by some five to 10 percent below what he called their fair value.

Cocoa trade in Ivory Coast, which accounts for around 40 percent of the world’s cocoa, has been halted by an export ban called by presidential claimant Alassane Ouattara, who now seems poised to take power from Laurent Gbagbo.

Analysts said the likely departure of Gbagbo from power soon augured well for mid crop output prospects, as workers who had fled plantations would return.