Cocoa Prices Rise On Strong European Grind Data
Cocoa futures were higher on Wednesday, boosted by a stronger-than-expected first-quarter grind in Europe.
Europe's first-quarter cocoa grind rose by 5.5% from the same period last year, to 358,432 tonnes, the Brussels-based European Cocoa Association said on Wednesday.
Traders had expected a rise of about 2-4%.
"It's better that expectations, and certainly better than consensus," said Jonathan Parkman, head of agriculture at Marex Spectron, "so that's a positive thing."
Parkman said that processing was stronger than recent chocolate confectionery demand data released as part of Barry Callebaut's results, although this could be a sign of higher consumption of high-cocoa premium chocolate.
"We have been having stronger grinds than we have had chocolate confectionery consumption," Parkman said. "We are of the opinion that there is a greater percentage of cocoa consumption that is not captured in the traditional chocolate confectionery category, such as artisan chocolate."
Traders will now focus on first-quarter grind data from North America on Thursday and Asia on Friday, to see if it confirms the stronger-than-expected trend.
Parkman said that he expected the North American grind to be flat to 1% higher, and the Asia grind to show a year-on-year rise of 9.5%.