Bloomberg reports the Macquarie Group said the export ban ordered by the internationally recognized victor of the November 2010 election in Ivory Coast will be damaging to the industry. Exports of cocoa from Ivory Coast, the globe's biggest supplier of the soft commodity, comprise 34 percent of the globe's supply.
"Cocoa processors are going to have to continue looking for alternatives," London-based analyst Kona Haque told the news service.
Alassane Ouattara banned exports on January 24 as an effort to sever funding to Laurent Gbagbo, the incumbent president who refuses to step down. Gbagbo issued an order to companies to resume cocoa shipments by the end of March or suffer the consequences, which include sanctions. Exporters' warehouses by port city Abidjan hold about 440,000 tons of the soft commodity, according to an Ouattara advisor.
Just prior to 10:15 a.m. on Wednesday, cocoa futures were up 1.20 percent, a $39 gain to $3,294 per metric ton.