North America cocoa grind hits record high as Asia figures up 12%

By Oliver Nieburg contact

- Last updated on GMT

North America and Asia cocoa grinds up 10% and 12% respectively in Q3. Photo Credit: cstrom
North America and Asia cocoa grinds up 10% and 12% respectively in Q3. Photo Credit: cstrom

Related tags: Cocoa grind, Chocolate, United states, Mexico, European cocoa association

North America’s third quarter cocoa grind is the highest of any quarter since the National Confectioners Association began to collaborate data for the US, Mexico and Canada in 2009. The Asian Q3 cocoa grind has also jumped 12%.

North America's Q3 grind was 131,974 metric tons (MT), up 10% from the same period last year. Cocoa grind data is an indicator of demand for chocolate products in the region.

US dark chocolate appetite

The figures supplied by the NCA come from 17 cocoa processors operating in the US, Canada and Mexico, including Blommer Chocolate, Hershey, Mars and Barry Callebaut.

Before 2009, the NCA only record data from the US.

Market analysts Euromonitor recently said​ that America was developing a strong appetite for dark chocolate. This may in part explain rising grinds as dark chocolate requires more cocoa to manufacture than milk chocolate.

Asian cocoa grind

Asia's cocoa grind grew 12% to 161,097 MT in Q3, according to the Cocoa Association of Asia.

The region was previously​ hit by a slowdown in China's economic growth in Q2, but China's GDP grew at the fastest rate so far this year in Q3.

Europe's Q3 cocoa grind​ figures were released by the European Cocoa Association (ECA) last week. The data showed a 4.7% rise on the same period last year to 331,514 MT.

Cocoa butter prices & supply deficit

The positive grind figures come amid sky-high cocoa butter prices​ due to adverse weather in the Ivory Coast, the world’s premier cocoa grower.

Industry players such as Mars​ and Blommer​ have previously predicted a looming cocoa supply crisis, claiming global demand will significantly outstrip supply by 2020.

The ICCO​ recently told ConfectioneryNews that the next crop year 2013/14 is likely to end with a small deficit that will impact prices.

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