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Cocoa futures set another record to sell at $10,760 a ton as West African supply woes persist –

Cocoa futures rose as much as 2.7% to a fresh intraday record of $10,760 a ton in New York, with little relief in sight for strained global supplies.

Prices in New York have gained for seven straight sessions, the longest streak since early February as harvests in the heavyweight West African growing region have been slammed by bad weather and crop disease. Cocoa arrivals to ports in top grower Ivory Coast are running at 1.31 million tons so far this season, down 30% from a year earlier, Bloomberg reported Monday.

Volatility in cocoa markets has been exacerbated by rising margin calls and waning open interest, making market swings more extreme. New York futures could rise further to $12,500 a ton in the next three months, Citi Research analysts said in a Friday note. Elevated prices are also raising the risk of bankruptcies over the next six to 12 months, the analysts wrote.

Processing plants being priced out of the market may resolve some demand-side issues, said Cliff Shelton, an economist at AgAmerica, a lender to the agriculture industry. But the supply outlook, which has been hampered by weather and disease, is less clear, he added.

“There’s undoubtedly room for futures prices to push even higher, especially for near-expiring contracts,” Shelton said. “Traders are jumping at opportunities to purchase at spot rates or near-term futures to have more accessibility to supply in hopes of fulfilling commitments to chocolate firms. With early reports of production being lower than expected, the upward price movement will likely continue.”

Source: bloomberg.com

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