As cocoa industry officials stamped on one rumour bullish
for cocoa, another one emerged, leading to ideas that futures may prove,
relatively, resilient when futures markets open on Wednesday.
The International Cocoa Organization said, as markets closed
on Tuesday, that speculation that it was about to hike to 310,000 tonnes, from
160,000 tonnes, its estimate for the world production deficit in 2012-13 -
rumour which sent prices soaring - was down to "possible misinterpretation".
While an annual ICCO survey of cocoa inventories held in
warehouses had shown them falling 310,000 tonnes to 1.51m tonnes over the
marketing year, which ends in September, a meeting of export advisors on Friday
concluded that this figure "had underestimated world stocks".
"Consequently the cocoa supply deficit for the 2012-13
season was lower than the 310,000 tonnes identified by the survey," the organisation said, confirming that it, "so far", stood by its previous estimate for the shortfall of 160,000 tonnes.
The expert panel said that the decline in the stocks figure
could have down to factors including an increase in so-called "invisible"
stocks, held at locations not reporting to the ICCO survey.
Furthermore, cocoa beans in transit may have been "higher
"The ICCO regrets that the confidentiality of the working
documents sent to the [expert panel] ahead of the meeting was not adhered to
and led to possible misinterpretation of the information by some market
players, which may have had an impact on futures prices on January 23 in
particular," the organisation said.
However, one market source Agrimoney.com spoke to after the
statement questioned whether it would prompt a hefty reversal in futures, which
in New York closed above $2,900 a tonne on Tuesday for the first time for a
spot contract since September 2011.
"I would see it if anything as neutral to bearish, following
last week," when ideas of the shortfall meant that cocoa futures charts "changed
Furthermore, there are fresh bullish market rumours, that
West African producing countries, the world's top cocoa growers "will revise
their arrivals numbers", downwards, implying that the start to 2013-14 for
supplies is not as strong as has been thought.
"That now is also supporting the market."
'Must be viewed with
Earlier on Tuesday, Commerzbank questioned the significance
of data showing that West Africa's main cocoa crop had been "more positive than
had been envisaged", saying that the "high year-on-year increase of 30% to date
in Ivory Coast must be viewed with caution".
The bank said: "For one thing, the figures are only
estimates, and for another the basis for comparison is low because the
shipments in the previous season got off to only a slow start."
There is also some idea that, with the panel meeting on Friday, and an ICCO statement initially due on Monday, Agrimoney.com has been told, some in the market may already have got wind of the announcement.
Cocoa for March closed in New York 0.6% higher at $2,905 a
tonne – up 8.4% in a week - having set a two-year high of $2,933 a tonne
London cocoa for March settled up 0.2% at £1,833 a tonne, up
6.8% week on week, having earlier touched £1,853 a tonne, also the highest for
a spot contract since September 2011.