I.C.C.O. forecast 115,000-tonne cocoa bean deficit

by Ron Sterk
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KANSAS CITY — In its first outlook for the 2013-14 crop year, the London-based International Cocoa Organization forecast a 115,000-tonne global cocoa bean deficit, down from an upwardly-revised 2012-13 deficit of 174,000 tonnes.

World cocoa bean production in 2013-14, which began Oct. 1, 2013, was forecast at 4.104 million tonnes, up 4% from a revised 3.942 million tonnes in the prior year. World grindings were forecast at 4.178 million tonnes for the current year, up 2.5% from an upwardly revised 4.077 million tonnes in 2012-13. The surplus/deficit forecast is based on net cocoa bean production, not the reported gross production number.

The I.C.C.O. forecast year-end cocoa bean stocks of 1.547 million tonnes for 2013-14, down 7% from a revised 1.662 million tonnes for the prior crop year. The 2013-14 stocks-to-grinding ratio was forecast at 37%, down from 41% last year.

The nearby New York May cocoa bean futures contract traded slightly higher after the data was released Feb. 28, but futures turned lower on profit taking during the March 3 session. May futures briefly topped $3,000 a tonne on Feb. 21, which was near a 2½-year high, on indications of improving cocoa demand and ongoing tight cocoa bean supplies.
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