Asian cocoa grind falls 10.8%
Cocoa grinds in Asia were widely expected to rise but have declined sharply by 10.8% in the first quarter of 2013 compared to last year.
The cocoa grind, an indicator of demand for chocolate products, fell from 157,000 metric tons (MT) in Q1 last year to 140,062 MT, according to figures from the Cocoa Association of Asia.
The figures came after Europe’s Q1 cocoa grind slumped 3.9% on last year as the debt crisis hampered chocolate demand in struggling economies.
Spanish cocoa processor Natra said in a blog post: “Although the general trend has been negative, it was better than expected in view of the consumption downturn in many countries.”
The North American cocoa grind enjoyed a surprising 5.77% rise in Q1 mainly driven by intrest in cocoa powder from other food segments such as cereal and spreads.