Commodities: Cocoa

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THERE were suggestions yesterday that cocoa-producing countries were aiming to more than double current prices under a new world agreement. Alain Gauze of the Ivory Coast told a news conference during negotiations on an agreement between producers and consumers that pounds 1,400 a tonne would be a good price.

He said that producers were pushing for an accord providing for between 400,000 and 450,000 tonnes to be kept back from the market under a withholding scheme. The current London price for cocoa is around pounds 600 a tonne. Cocoa specialists said the price target looked rather like wishful thinking.