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Cocoa Prices Plummet in Southwest Cameroon After Traders Flee Unrest

25 Mar 2018 10:31 am
 By Emmanuel Tumanjong 

YAOUNDE, Cameroon--Farmers and traders said Sunday that cocoa-bean prices had plunged some 18% in Cameroon's main cocoa-growing area after the eruption of political violence in the region.

Beans were selling for as low as $1.35 per kilogram at markets in the country' southwest during the past week, they said, down from $1.60 per kilogram the week prior. It put a halt to three weeks of steady growth in bean rice in the region.

The price drop was blamed on a recent flare-up of violence between government forces and separatists--who officials accuse of kidnappings--near the key cocoa-growing town of Kumba, forcing farmer and traders to flee.

"We're accepting lower prices for cocoa beans because most traders have escaped the markets after troops began cracking down on assailants," said farmer Jerome Eben in Kumba.

Cameroon's southwest region accounts for at least 50% of the country's annual cocoa-bean harvest, according to official government figures.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 25, 2018 06:31 ET (10:31 GMT)

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