In a decree published on Monday, September 18th, Ivory Coast has decided to halt its exports of sugar and rice until the end of the year as part of its ongoing efforts to combat rising living costs. According to the Ivorian government, this decision aims to secure the supply of these two essential commodities, the prices of which have surged in recent months.
With rice prices reaching up to 15,000 CFA francs per bag and sugar at 900 francs per kilogram on certain markets, according to the Ministry of Commerce, prices have soared. To curb this inflation, exports of rice and sugar are prohibited until December 31, 2023, as price controls have proven insufficient.
For rice, this is a consequence of disruptions in the global market. Demand continues to rise, and India, the world’s leading exporter, and Ivory Coast’s primary supplier has imposed multiple export restrictions since the beginning of the year. This has put many countries, including Ivory Coast, which imports 60% of its white rice, in a difficult position.
The country has decided to secure its local production, which amounts to just over one million tonnes per year.
However, some experts suggest that the government’s announcement should be taken with a grain of salt. Ivorian rice exports are marginal, totaling around 31,000 tonnes per year, a drop in the ocean compared to imports.
Although it has remained stagnant for several years, local production is expected to increase significantly from 2023, according to the government. All ten rice-growing regions across the country will be mobilized for this purpose.