Cocoa Finds Buyers at Relatively Low Prices

By FeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Cocoa futures ended higher Thursday as buyers snatched up relative bargains.

Cocoa for March rose 2.4% to end at $1,911 a ton on the ICE Futures U.S. exchange. Futures reached their lowest levels since May last week, pushing buyers into the market.

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Jack Scoville, vice president at Price Futures Group, said cocoa prices have been weak overall due to the ongoing cocoa harvest in West Africa, the largest growing region.

"Some are now viewing the market as cheap," he said.

In its latest quarterly bulletin, released Nov. 30, the International Cocoa Organization said world production of cocoa for the 2016-17 season was up 18.5% year-on-year at 4.733 million tons. The organization also increased its figures for world cocoa demand over its last quarterly projection to 4.351 million tons versus 4.282 million tons last quarter, pushing end-of-season stocks to 1.760 million tons, a 23.5% year-on-year increase.

Commodities broker JSG Commodities anticipates cocoa supply in the 2017/2018 crop year to outstrip demand by 88,450 tons.

Raw sugar for March rose 0.5% to end at 15 cents a pound, frozen concentrated orange juice for March closed up 2.6% at $1.3585 a pound, March cotton slumped 0.2% to settle at 78.80 cents a pound, and arabica coffee was up 0.2% to end at $1.2480 a pound.

Write to Julie Wernau at julie.wernau@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 28, 2017 15:05 ET (20:05 GMT)