Buyers of cocoa, which accounts for about 33 percent of the country's exports, are apprehensive about traveling to the nation's interior while banks remain closed. Fuel supplies are very low, beans sit at warehouses and farmers are hesitant to accept prices that are about half the value offered in January.
"Only the farmers who need immediate cash for a funeral or for medical treatment are prepared to sell at that price," Koffi Kanga, a farmers' cooperative head, told the news service. "We are suffering a lot from the crisis."
Earlier this month, Alassane Ouattara assumed the presidency after having been declared the winner of the election. But Laurent Gbagbo, incumbent president of 10 years, refused to cede power and step down. Though he was forced from office by peacekeepers from France and the United Nations, factions loyal to him continued resisting the change in rule after he was apprehended in his home.
At 12:29 p.m. on Thursday, cocoa futures surged 3.47 percent, a $110 increase to $3,278 per metric ton.
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