BEVERLY HILLS (CBS) — As the dramatic battle for power continues to rage in the Ivory Coast, the ongoing civil war has brought cocoa bean exports to a halt — a bitter development for local chocolate purveyors.

Diane Kron of K Chocolatier in Beverly Hills and Malibu tells KNX 1070 chocolate lovers don’t have much of an appetite for prices going higher than they already are.

“Most chocolate products have gone up [in price],” said Kron. “I don’t think they’re going to come down, because once they go up they never seem to come down.”

Kron says a lot of other companies try to lock in their prices over a longer term so they can avoid the fluctuations — or they simply look for other sources.

“Ivory Coast does really supply 40 percent of the world’s cocoa, but that is to the general market, not necessarily to high-end chocolatiers.”

In addition to cocoa beans, sugar amounts used in candy and other variables in chocolate production make it difficult to predict how high or how long of an increase to expect.

Forces who support the country’s democratically elected president say they have surrounded the property where Laurent Gbagbo (BAHG’-boh) is holed up and plan to stay there until they secure his removal from office.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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