(Adds exporter reaction, details)
ABIDJAN, Oct 1 (Reuters) - Ivory Coast has set a guaranteed minimum cocoa farmgate price of 850 CFA francs ($1.63) per kilogramme for the 2014/15 main crop, up from 750 CFA francs/kg last season, a Coffee and Cocoa Council (CCC) board member and two exporters said on Wednesday.
“850 CFA francs is the price. In the end they decided to be prudent, even if we could have paid more,” said the CCC official. He had earlier said the marketing board had proposed a range of prices between 850 and 900 CFA francs for the government’s consideration.
Ivory Coast abandoned a decade of sector liberalisation in the 2012/13 season, forward selling the bulk of its anticipated cocoa crop in order to fix a minimum price for farmers and encourage reinvestment in ageing plantations.
“It’s a good price. It’s logical. This will encourage the farmers,” said a cocoa exporter based in Ivory Coast’s second port of San Pedro. “They’re advancing with plenty of caution. You mustn’t forget that this is a reform, this is a process.”
Cocoa arrivals at ports in Ivory Coast passed 1.7 million tonnes for the recently ended 2013/14 season, a new record, according to exporters’ estimates. (1 US dollar = 520.9300 CFA franc) (Reporting by Ange Aboa; Writing by Joe Bavier; Editing by Bate Felix and David Lewis)