Cocoa prices drop close to three month low

31st March 2011, Comments 0 comments

Cocoa futures struck near three-month lows Thursday, as fighters backing internationally recognised Ivory Coast president Alassane Ouattara seized control of the world's biggest cocoa exporting port.

As supply worries eased, cocoa for delivery in May dropped to 1,915 pounds a tonne, hitting the lowest level since January 10 on London's futures exchange LIFFE. They have fallen by 9.0 percent in value over the week.

Ouattara's forces took control of the San Pedro port Thursday after sweeping southwards from their strongholds in the north over the past week, seizing several other towns in control of Laurent Gbagbo, who refuses to cede power.

"They have total control of the town since 4:00 am (local time)," a resident in San Pedro said.

Ivory Coast is the world's top cocoa producer and exporter, but the industry has been strangled by international sanctions trying to choke off Gbagbo's economic power and force him to step down from the presidency.

© 2011 AFP

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