UPDATE 3-Hit by falling cocoa prices, Ivory Coast slashes budget

Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:44pm GMT

* Cocoa futures hit multi-year lows

* Ivory Coast is world's top cocoa exporter

* Budget squeeze worsened by army mutinies, social unrest

* Ivory Coast has been Africa's stand-out economy (Adds details, Q1 tax revenue figure)

By Loucoumane Coulibaly and Joe Bavier

ABIDJAN, April 20 (Reuters) - Ivory Coast has slashed its 2017 budget due to plummeting cocoa prices, its president said in comments reported in national media on Thursday, as it seeks to shore up state coffers also under pressure following payouts to disgruntled soldiers.

Ivory Coast, the world's top cocoa exporter, has emerged from a decade-long political crisis capped by a 2011 civil war as Africa's fastest growing economy, drawing the interest of international investors.

But President Alassane Ouattara said the sharp drop in global prices for cocoa meant spending plans for next year would have to be scaled back by a tenth, according to comments reported by national newspapers.

Bumper cocoa crops in producer countries including Ivory Coast, the world's top grower of the chocolate ingredient, have sent prices tumbling since last year.   Continued...

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