ABIDJAN May 3 Ivory Coast's second port of San
Pedro has exported its first shipment of cotton from
neighbouring Mali and plans to become the principal point of
export for the landlocked West African nation's cotton, a port
official said on Friday.
"We've just started exporting cotton coming from Mali. The
first convoy of 1,500 tonnes arrived from Mali yesterday," port
spokesman Parfait Agbo told Reuters.
Mali's cotton had previously been exported via ports in
Dakar, Conakry and Ivory Coast's main port in the commercial
"We expect to export the majority of Malian cotton
production, which will boost the port's overall traffic," Agbo
San Pedro already exports around half of all cocoa produced
in Ivory Coast, the top producer of the main chocolate
ingredient, and is planning a $230 million expansion of the port
in order to boost capacity.
Bollore Africa Logistics, a subsidiary of France's
Bollore industrial group, manages both the Abidjan and
San Pedro ports.
Hit hard by a market crash in the early 2000s that pushed
many farmers to switch to other crops, West Africa's cotton
sector is currently witnessing a revival fuelled by attractive
prices for farmers.
Burkina Faso's output jumped nearly 58 percent last season
to 630,000 tonnes, while Mali produced around 450,000 tonnes of
Ivory Coast, which had annual output of about 400,000 tonnes
before a 2002-2003 civil war halved production, is also making a
Though final figures are not yet available, the country's
ginners association has projected output of 360,000 tonnes for
the 2012/13 season, which ended last month.
(Reporting by Loucoumane Coulibaly; Editing by Joe Bavier)