Cocoa Prices Rise On Strong European Grind Data

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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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%.

News by Reuters, edited by ESM. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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