Cocoa grind record high in 2013
by Ron Sterk
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WASHINGTON — North American cocoa bean grind was record high in 2013, according to data from the National Confectioners Association. The N.C.A. reported fourth-quarter 2013 grind at 125,332 tonnes, up 4.4% from the final quarter of 2012 but at the low end of trade expectations. For the year grind totaled 509,237 tonnes, up 7.5% from 2012 and the highest on record. First-quarter grind was up 5.8% from a year earlier, second-quarter up 11.8% and third quarter up 8.2%. European cocoa bean grind reported by the European Cocoa Association was 348,406 tonnes in the fourth quarter, up 6.2% from a year earlier, with annual grind at 1,329,485 tonnes, up 3%. Cocoa bean grind is an indication of cocoa and chocolate demand. The International Cocoa Organization has forecast demand for cocoa beans will surpass production for the second consecutive year in 2014.