Cocoa Futures Rise On Robust Demand Data

By Julie Wernau and David Hodari Features Dow Jones Newswires

Cocoa futures jumped after data that traders use as a proxy for demand for cocoa came out higher than anticipated.

Continue Reading Below

Cocoa for December rose 2.3% to $2,091 a ton on the ICE Futures U.S. exchange.

European processing volumes of raw cocoa beans rose 3% in the third quarter year-over-year, slightly outperforming industry expectations, according to data released Wednesday by the European Cocoa Association.

Cocoa grindings--the amount of raw cocoa processed into butter and powder for the manufacturing of confectionary and chocolate--ticked up to 353,544 metric tons of beans in the July-September period--a mild improvement on 2017's second quarter, the Brussels-based ECA said.

The rise was larger than the 1.9% year-on-year in second-quarter grindings and the 1.1% rise recorded in the first quarter of 2017 and exceeded the expectations of analysts and traders surveyed The Wall Street Journal. On average, traders had expected an increase of 2.3%.

The ECA represents 20 companies in the European Union and Switzerland, including Barry Callebaut, Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate, Ferrero SpA, Nestle SA and Mondelez International Inc.

Continue Reading Below

"The fact that prices have been low for months is having a reviving effect on demand," Commerzbank said in a note.

The figure was the highest quarterly grinding figure in six years, and it came after Malaysia reported a 4.7% year-on-year increase in third-quarter grinding. North America, the second-largest cocoa consumer behind Europe, is set to report grindings on Oct. 19.

In other markets, raw sugar for March rose 0.8% to 14.28 a pound, arabica coffee for December was down 2.6% at $1.2755 a pound, frozen concentrated orange juice for November lost 0.8% at $1.60 a pound and December cotton was up 0.2% at 69.05 cents a pound.

Write to Julie Wernau at julie.wernau@wsj.com and David Hodari at david.hodari@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 11, 2017 12:31 ET (16:31 GMT)