UPDATE 1-Ivorian cocoa exporters shut down ahead of poll result

Tue Nov 30, 2010 11:46am GMT

* Cocoa exporters shut down ahead of expected poll results

* Arrivals choppy since first-round, but ahead of last year

* Political uncertainty, close race in top grower

(Adds quotes, details)

ABIDJAN, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Cocoa exporters in top grower Ivory Coast have shut operations due to tensions ahead of results later on Tuesday from a presidential election, three industry sources told Reuters.

Political uncertainty in the West African state since the first round of voting Oct. 31 has raised fears of violence and altered the normal flow of beans to port, but overall volumes are nonetheless running ahead of last year.

The election commission is due to start issuing the main body of results on Tuesday after a tense run-off vote between incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo and his challenger Alassane Ouattara. [ID:LDE6AT0SL]

Tensions are high and each camp has accused the other of intimidation in their respective strongholds during voting on Sunday. The race is expected to be tight and is likely to be contested by the loser.

"There is no point in staying open because yesterday there were no deliveries and there are none expected for this week. We will probably re-start at the beginning of next week if all is calm," said one exporter, who asked not to be named.   Continued...

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