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Expand chart
Data: Investing.com; Chart: Axios Visuals

Investors aren't buying the idea of a potential Organization of Cocoa Exporting Countries, and cocoa prices sank late last week after rallying to an 11-month high.

Driving the news: Ghana and Ivory Coast reached an agreement not to sell cocoa for less than $2,600 a ton for the harvest that will begin in October 2020. The two African nations account for 60% of the world's cocoa production. That sent cocoa prices to $2,552 Wednesday.

  • But investors aren't convinced the agreement will hold and Ivory Coast's strong planting season this year has markets convinced the world will be flush with enough cocoa to drag prices lower.
  • Cocoa prices were well above $3,000 a ton for most of the period from 2014 to 2016, but have fallen since.

What's next? Ivory Coast and Ghana say they are setting the price floors to improve pay in the industry, but to make a real impact, Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara and Ghana's Nana Akufo-Addo should focus on processing cocoa, rather than just growing it, Reuters' Ed Cropley writes for Breaking Views.

  • "Of the $100 billion spent annually on chocolate, the African Development Bank reckons the continent keeps just $5 billion. As with other commodities like diamonds or crude oil, the labour-intensive work happens elsewhere. According to International Cocoa Organization figures, Ivory Coast ground just 559,000 tonnes of beans last year less than the Netherlands.
  • "Building a processing sector requires lots of investment and expertise, but Indonesia shows what is possible. In 2010, 80% of its 500,000 tonnes of cocoa exports were beans, according to an analysis by Fitch Solutions. In 2017, that proportion had fallen to 5% as production of cocoa butter, paste and powder soared. Making a similar switch in West Africa really would be sweet."

Go deeper: The staggering impact of falling coffee prices

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
32 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden's "overwhelming force" doctrine

President-elect Biden arrives to introduce his science team in Wilmington yesterday. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

President-elect Biden has ordered up a shock-and-awe campaign for his first days in office to signal, as dramatically as possible, the radical shift coming to America and global affairs, his advisers tell us. 

The plan, Part 1 ... Biden, as detailed in a "First Ten Days" memo from incoming chief of staff Ron Klain, plans to unleash executive orders, federal powers and speeches to shift to a stark, national plan for "100 million shots" in three months.

Off the Rails

Episode 2: Barbarians at the Oval

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 2: Trump stops buying what his professional staff are telling him, and increasingly turns to radical voices telling him what he wants to hear. Read episode 1.

President Trump plunked down in an armchair in the White House residence, still dressed from his golf game — navy fleece, black pants, white MAGA cap. It was Saturday, Nov. 7. The networks had just called the election for Joe Biden.

Fringe right plots new attacks out of sight

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Domestic extremists are using obscure and private corners of the internet to plot new attacks ahead of Inauguration Day. Their plans are also hidden in plain sight, buried in podcasts and online video platforms.

Why it matters: Because law enforcement was caught flat-footed during last week's Capitol siege, researchers and intelligence agencies are paying more attention to online threats that could turn into real-world violence.