Cocoa deficit forecast to fall but prices remain high

By Linda Rano

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Futures contract

Latest figures from the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO)
suggest that there will be a rise in world production of cocoa
compared to last year and a rise, though smaller, in world

The deficit is expected to be reduced.

However, a spokesperson at the ICCO explained to that combined years of deficit are pushing prices up, with prices in March registering a five-year high.

The ICCO's latest quarterly bulletin of cocoa statistics conveyed the organisation's revised forecasts for the current 2007/08 cocoa year (running October - September), which reflected information available at the beginning of May.

It is estimated that there will be a world production year-on-year increase of 370,000 tonnes, or 11 per cent, compared to 2006/07.

With regard to grindings, which correspond to the demand for beans, it is forecast that there will be an increase of 107,000 tonnes, or 2.9 per cent.

The deficit for 2007/08 is forecast at 41,000 tonnes, which is 10,000 tonnes less than previous estimates and considerably less than the deficit of 301,000 tonnes which is estimated for 2006/07.

However, with stocks going down, prices remain high, explained the spokesperson.

The end of season world stocks for 2006/07 are estimated at 1574,000 tonnes but forecast at 1533,000 tonnes for 2007/08.

Supply The ICCO's monthly review of the cocoa market for April said that data on volumes of cocoa reaching ports in West Africa confirmed expectation of a strong increase in cocoa production during the first half of the season.

According to data published by news agencies, the 2007/08 main crop in Côte d'Ivoire (ending in March) was up about 100,000 tonnes compared to the same period a year earlier.

Also Cocobod reported that 552,000 tonnes of cocoa beans were purchased from Ghanaian farmers in the first six months of the season, up 8 per cent.

Prices May 21 the ICCO daily price for cocoa beans was reported as $2630.10 per tonne (ICCO daily price = the average of the quotations of the nearest three active futures trading months on LIFFE (London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange) and ICE (Intercontinental Exchange)

Futures U.S. at the time of London close).

The day before the ICCO daily price was reported as 2649.88.

The International Cocoa Organisation (ICCO) monthly review of the cocoa market for April suggested that a decline of the monthly average ICCO daily price compared to the previous month could be misleading as far as futures markets were concerned.

In April the daily price averaged US$2,628 per tonne, down by US$42 compared to the average price record in March, and ranged between US$2,375 and US$2,810.

After a downward correction recorded in both LIFFE (London futures market) and ICE (New York futures market) from mid-March prices bounced back in April, both markets recovering 90 per cent of losses experienced in the previous month.

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