North American cocoa grind up 12%

by Ron Sterk
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KANSAS CITY — North American cocoa bean grind in the second quarter of 2010 was up 12.1% from the same quarter a year ago, the National Confectioners Association said Thursday.

A total of 117,657 tonnes of cocoa beans were ground during the April-June period, up 12,675 tonnes, or 12.1%, from 104,982 tonnes in the same period of 2009, the association said. It was the second consecutive quarterly increase after four quarters of year-over-year declines.

The second-quarter grind far exceeded trade expectations that ranged from increases of 4% to 8%.

Earlier in the week, strong cocoa bean grind also was reported for Europe. The European Cocoa Association said second-quarter grind was 328,704 tonnes, down slightly from the first quarter but up 12.7% from the same quarter in 2009 and exceeding trade forecasts of an 8% to 9% increase.

Cocoa bean futures in London were trading at 32-year highs, and physical deliveries against the July contract totaled 240,100 tonnes, the largest delivery total since September 1996, according to exchanged data and press reports from London. New York cocoa bean futures prices were trading at 10-week highs early Friday.

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