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Commodity dependence, global commodity chains, price volatility and financialisation: Price-setting and stabilisation in the cocoa sectors in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana

Bernhard Tröster / Cornelia Staritz / Jan Grumiller / Felix Maile

Wien, Dezember 2019

Commodity price volatility remains a crucial challenge of commodity-dependent countries of the Global South. This paper calls for the integration of price-setting into the analysis of governance in global commodity chains (GCCs). We assess price stabilisation in the top cocoa-producing countries Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana against changing governance and price-setting in the cocoa GCC. These mechanisms stabilize cocoa producer prices for one season, but can hardly address inter-seasonal price variations. Both countries remain ‘global price takers’ with global prices set on financialized derivatives markets and transmitted along the GCC by commodity trading houses, which limits possibilities for ‘domestic price making’. This leaves the major burden of price risks between seasons with cocoa smallholders.

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