Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Rich Asplund

Cocoa Prices Underpinned by Tight Ivory Coast Supplies

Sep ICE NY cocoa (CCU23) on Monday closed +7 (+0.21%), and Sep ICE London cocoa #7 (CAU23) closed +16 (+0.74%).

Cocoa prices Monday posted moderate gains, with NY cocoa climbing to a 1-week high.  Reduced cocoa supplies from the Ivory Coast are supportive of cocoa prices after Ivory Coast farmers shipped 2.29 MMT of cocoa from Oct 1-July 16, down -2.6% y/y.  The Ivory Coast is the world's largest cocoa producer.

The outlook for tighter future cocoa supplies is also bullish for prices on last Friday's news that 2023/24 Ivory Coast forward cocoa sales during Oct 1-July 7 fell -1.3 MMT (-13.3%) y/y.

Last Thursday, NY cocoa fell to a 2-week low as signs of weakness in cocoa demand sparked long liquidation in cocoa futures.  The European Cocoa Association reported last Thursday that European Q2 cocoa processing fell -8.5% q/q and -5.7% y/y to a 2-year low of 343,283 MT.  Also, Barry Callebaut, the world's biggest chocolate maker, reported that its sales volume fell -2.7% in the first nine months of the fiscal year ending May 31 as higher prices hurt sales.  

Sep NY cocoa prices rallied to a contract high earlier this month, and nearest-futures cocoa (CCN23) posted a 7-1/2 year high.  Meanwhile, Sep London cocoa climbed to a contract high, and nearest-futures (CAN23) posted a record high (data from 1989).  Cocoa prices have moved higher over the past month due to the recent heavy rain in West Africa that has accelerated the spread of black pod disease, which causes cocoa pods to turn black and rot.  The spread of the disease from the extreme wet weather could result in lower cocoa crop quality and production.    

Cocoa prices have support from concern that an El Nino weather event could undercut global cocoa production.  On June 8, the U.S. Climate Prediction Center said that sea surface temperatures across the equatorial Pacific Ocean had risen 0.5 degrees Celsius above normal, and wind patterns have changed to the point where El Nino criteria have been met.  Cocoa prices rallied to 12-year highs in 2016 after an El Nino weather event caused a drought that hampered global cocoa production.

An increase in London cocoa inventories is bearish for prices.  Certified cocoa stockpiles held in European port warehouses monitored by the ICE Futures Europe exchange rose 2,920 MT last Wednesday to a record 173,780 MT (data from 2020).

Larger cocoa supplies from Nigeria are bearish for cocoa prices after the June 27 news that Nigeria's May cocoa exports rose +65% y/y to 20,675 tons.  Nigeria is the world's fifth-largest cocoa bean producer.

The reopening of the global economy from the pandemic has boosted chocolate demand.  According to Nielsen data, for the 52 weeks that ended May 27, dollar sales of chocolate are up about 10% from the year-earlier period.  Also, researcher Euromonitor projects 2023 global chocolate confectionary sales will climb +5.8% this year to nearly $26 billion.

The International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) forecasts a global cocoa deficit for 2022/23 of -146,000 tons.  ICCO said, "The expectation of a supply deficit has been compounded with weather variations, especially in West Africa."

On the date of publication, Rich Asplund did not have (either directly or indirectly) positions in any of the securities mentioned in this article. All information and data in this article is solely for informational purposes. For more information please view the Barchart Disclosure Policy here.
Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.