Reduced exports and lack of financing are damaging prospects. Alassane Ouattara, who is internationally considered the victor of the November 28 presidential election, cut off exports of the commodity late last month as a method of severing the flow of export income to Laurent Gbagbo, the incumbent president who claims he won the election.
"We would have to start coming into the mid-crop in April, May before we may see supply constraints," Kona Haque, a London-based analyst at Macquarie Group.
Shortly before 5 p.m., cocoa futures were up 1.19 percent, a $25 increase to $3,260 per metric ton.
Despite the challenges, a Spanish importer remained upbeat about prospects to acquire the commodity.
"Cocoa out of the Ivory Coast will reach the consumer one way or the other," said Javier Hijalva, chief purchasing officer at Spanish cocoa buyer Natra in Valencia, Spain. "The harvest in the whole of Africa is very good, not only in the Ivory Coast and Ghana."