Ivory Coast Cocoa Retaining its Commodities Crown

By CultureBanx Team

  • Cocoa is on track for a record harvest of 2.2 million tons

  • Ivory Coast and Ghana grow about 60% of the world’s cocoa

Ivory Coast is on track for a record cocoa harvest this season of 2.2 million tons. Prices for the highly sought after commodity are set thousands of miles away in New York and London where they see favorable weather and new plantations as the main catalysts pushing the crop over the top.

Why This Matters: Considering cocoa ended 2017 down 11%, after extending a 33% slump from 2016, this upcoming season is shaping up to be quite impressive. At last week’s settlement of $2,170 per ton in New York, cocoa had returned 15% to investors who had bought at the end of 2017 and have held onto the commodity ever since.

Ivory Coast and Ghana grow about 60% of the world’s cocoa and want to regulate global supply to grab more of the profit. Just this year Ivory Coast halted the distribution of higher-yielding seed varieties, since there has been a major turnaround in 2018 causing prices to surge up about 25%.

Cocoa accounts for about 20% of the average bar of milk chocolate

Exporters of cocoa are major borrowers from the Coffee and Cocoa Council, which serves as the country’s marketing board. Despite high production Archer Financials expects cocoa prices to be supported by strong demand and a potential weakening of the dollar.

Cocoa accounts for about 20% of the average bar of milk chocolate. Candy makers usually buy cocoa six months in advance, so any price increase would take a while before it hit your favorite candy bar at the local store.

Situational Awareness: Multiple festivities from Hanukkah to Christmas and New Year’s mean high consumption and gifting of candy bode well for cocoa investors and confectioners. The cocoa season opened in October and runs through March, so there’s still time for investors to cash in.

CBx Vibe:Left Da Bank” Zaytoven

Africa’s New Diamond Trade is Madagascar’s Vanilla Crop

Africa’s New Diamond Trade is Madagascar’s Vanilla Crop

By CultureBanx Team

  • Madagascar produces about 80% of the world’s vanilla

  • Vanilla producers expect prices to remain high during the 2018-2019 season

CBx Vibe:Bag” Future

Madagascar’s vanilla cash crop has become more precious than silver and prices are continuing to soar. The country’s northeast mountain area produces about 80% of the world’s vanilla, one of the most expensive flavors.

Why This Matters: Vanilla is used in everything from ice cream to alcohol and even cosmetics. Madagascar’s vanilla producers expect prices to remain high during the 2018-2019 season. Green vanilla bean prices have reached $56 per kilo, once the vanilla is ready for export its price is eight to ten times higher than that of green vanilla, and is expected to sell between $376 and $560 per kilo.

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Facebook Becomes Uganda’s Internet Plug

Facebook Becomes Uganda’s Internet Plug

By CultureBanx Team

  • Facebook connects remote parts of Uganda to high speed internet

  • Ugandans must pay $0.05 per day to use Facebook

CBx Vibe:Plugged In” Lecrae

Facebook (FB -3.00%) has laid 500 miles of fiber wires in northwest Uganda to provide millions of people with connectivity infrastructure. It’s expanded the isolated northwest of this East African nation’s network capacity by providing faster internet access.

Why This Matters: The Ugandan cable project is the largest one Facebook has helped construct on the continent, in partnership with Bharti Airtel’s Ugandan unit and Mauritius based Bandwidth & Cloud Services Group. Facebook has 131 million monthly active users in sub-Saharan Africa. Right now Ugandans must pay $0.05 per day to use Facebook.

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African Music Bops Attract Universal Music Group

African Music Bops Attract Universal Music Group

By CultureBanx Team

  • Universal Music Group strikes a new licensing deal with Africa’s Boomplay

  • Boomplay has more than 36M users

CBx Vibe:Soco” Starboy Feat. Wizkid

The world’s largest music publisher Universal Music Group (UMG) is pushing further into Africa through a new licensing deal with Boomplay. This new agreement will cover multiple markets across the continent, which is widely fragmented but remains one of the last true music growth opportunities in the world.

Why This Matters: Boomplay is Africa’s leading music streaming service with more than 2 million songs and thousands of music videos, spanning genres like Afrobeat, Afropop and hip-hop. They have more than 36 million users and add nearly 2 million new users each month. Under the terms, Boomplay will distribute music from UMG’s labels through its streaming service in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia.

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Africa’s Seychelles Issues World’s 1st Blue Bond

Africa’s Seychelles Issues World’s 1st Blue Bond

By CultureBanx Team

  • Seychelles raises $15M in a 10-year blue bond

  • The nation’s fishing industry employs 17% of its population

The tiny island nation of Seychelles is the first country to sell debt earmarked specifically for ocean projects, raising $15 million in a 10-year blue bond. Nuveen, Prudential and Calvert Impact Capital are the three investors who bought the bond. Proceeds from the blue bond will be used to expand its protected marine areas, invest in fisheries and offer grants and loans to ocean-related industries.

Why This Matters: The Indian Ocean archipelago’s economy is dependent on the ocean and on fisheries for nutrition, livelihoods and other blue economy sectors like tourism. Seychelles’ fishing industry employs 17% of its population.

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