Farmgate cocoa prices in top producer Ivory Coast's growing regions fell further last week as buyers showed little interest in the mostly poor quality beans from farms, farmers and buyers said on Tuesday.
Cocoa prices fell to between 730 CFA francs ($1.47) and 810 CFA francs per kg from 754 to 800 CFA francs the previous week at the port of Abidjan after buyers scaled down purchases as a result of poor quality beans, said an Abidjan based purchase manager.
The manager said the beans were not of export grade.
He added that due to the small size, the ratio of beans per gramme had increased to around 130 to 150 beans per 100 grammes compared with the authorised 100 to 115 beans per 100 grammes for export.
"Even grinders are afraid to take such (small size) beans because of the high level of acidity in them," the manager said, requesting not to be named.
Ivorian exporters said on Monday that they were concerned by the rise in the level of Free Fatty Acids (FFA) mostly found in small size beans, which is a result of a prolonged four-month drought.
In the western region of Soubre, at the heart of the Ivorian cocoa belt, farmers said the average price was between 500 and 525 CFA francs per kg from up to 600 CFA francs the previous week.
"The prices are low.
And even more, buyers are asking us to sort and sift the beans before they take them," said Salam Kone who farms in the area.
In the centre-western region of Daloa, which produces about a quarter of Ivory Coast's national output, farmers said prices were between 450 and 475 CFA per kg from between 450 and 500 CFA the previous week.
"Prices continue to fall.
Buyers are saying that there is not enough butter in our beans," said Abel Konan who farms near Daloa.