March 13, 2018 / 12:56 PM / in 9 months

Ivory Coast cocoa grinding up nearly 2 pct through January -exporter stats

ABIDJAN, March 13 (Reuters) - -

* Ivory Coast cocoa grinders processed 168,000 tonnes of beans by the end of January, data from exporters' association GEPEX showed on Tuesday.

* That's up slightly from 165,000 tonnes during same period last season.

* Grinders processed 44,000 tonnes of beans in January, on par with same month of the previous season.

* The GEPEX data only covers six of the largest grinding companies, including Olam and Cargill, among 12 active firms.

* Ivory Coast is world's top cocoa producer and vies with the Netherlands for the top grinder spot.

* West African nation has total grinding capacity of 712,000 tonnes but groound only 519,000 tonnes of beans last season. (Reporting by Ange Aboa Writing by Joe Bavier Editing by Louise Heavens)

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