Ivory Coast to receive IMF budget support as cocoa prices slump

Ivory Coast will receive more assistance from the International Monetary Fund to support the nation’s 2017 budget after cocoa prices slumped, hurting the finances of the world’s biggest grower.

The IMF’s board will meet in June to decide on the amount of support, Dan Ghura, the Washington-based lender’s mission chief, told reporters in the commercial capital, Abidjan.

The assistance will come as the IMF visited the West African nation for a review of the country’s three-year extended credit facility agreement of about $660 million agreed in 2016. Cocoa futures in London have slumped by about a third since reaching a six-year high in July.

Ivory Coast’s budget deficit is forecast to widen to 4.5 percent of gross domestic product this year and will stabilize at 3 percent in 2019, Ghura said. The economy probably expanded by 8 percent in 2016, he said.