Ivory Coast bans cocoa exports

The internationally recognized winner of Ivory Coast’s presidential election, Alassane Ouattara, announced on Monday a one-month ban on cocoa and coffee exports in an attempt to force presidential incumbent Laurent Gbagbo to step down.

According to the statement made by Ouattara's prime minister, Guillaume Soro, any trader who violates the ban would be considered to be "financing the illegitimate regime" of Gbagbo.

The U.S. State department has released a statement in support of Oattara’s actions. “The U.S. supports the proposed month-long ban on cocoa imports from the Ivory Coast," State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said in a message on Twitter. "Laurent Gbagbo needs to get the message and step down.”

Cocoa futures on ICE Futures U.S. rallied to $3,393 per metric ton on Monday before settling at $3,312. According to Shawn Hackett, President of Hackett Financial Advisors, the move left cocoa bulls wanting more. He sees the market making a top on the move and expects very little further upward movement. He says it may be time to make the hard decision to go short because cocoa should find its way to the marketplace, especially considering the good crop this year.

“This is the hard trade. This is the trade where you say, ‘I don’t really want to do this,’ and you look back and say, ‘Boy, that was exactly the time to do that,’” he says.

Hackett had called for cocoa prices to reach $3,400 in early-2011 in Cuckoo for cocoa futures (January 2011).

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