The internationally recognized winner of a disputed presidential election in the nation that produces the world's biggest supply of cocoa prolonged a ban on exports of the commodity through the next two-plus weeks, Bloomberg reports.
An advisor to Alassane Ouattara, Malick Tohe, said the ban that first began on January 24 will run through the end of the month of March in the Ivory Coast.
"The ban has been extended until March 31," Malick Tohe told Bloomberg on Monday during an interview from the commercial capital, Abidjan.
Ouattara imposed the ban as a strategy to force Laurent Gbagbo from office. Ouattara and Gbagbo, who refuses to step down from office despite the collapse of tax revenue making its way to his government, squared off in a late November election that remains unresolved.
At 2 p.m. on Monday, cocoa futures were down 0.67 percent, a $23 decrease to $3,389 per metric ton.
The warehouses of exporters near the port of Abidjan hold about 440,000 metric tons of cocoa. Earlier this month, Gbagbo attempted to collect export taxes by seizIng cocoa purchases and exports.