WORLD: Conference called amid concerns over cocoa price and production levels
Industry watchers are warning cocoa shortages are likely in the wake of the tremendous global demand for chocolate and the simultaneous drop in global output. Cocoa prices have been rising steeply. Last week, it was noted that daily prices had doubled since mid-December, and with the predictions of the International Cocoa Organisation (ICCO) that production will fall 8% during the 2000-2001 season, there are fears that the trend of the last two months is set to continue. The world's largest producer and exporter, the Ivory Coast, has noted a particular drop in production after bad weather and pests hit harvests hard.
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