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Credit Suisse Lowers Cocoa-Price Forecasts on Ample Supply

Credit Suisse Group AG reduced price forecasts for cocoa traded in New York, citing ample supplies of the beans.

Prices will be at $2,100 a metric ton in three months, below the $2,200 forecast last month, the bank said in a monthly report e-mailed today. The chocolate ingredient will be at $1,900 in a year, down from a previous estimate of $2,000, according to the report.

“Global cocoa availability remains high and the market is entering the new crop with large carryout stocks,” said Tobias Merath, head of commodities research at the bank.

Global stockpiles of the beans climbed 295,000 tons to 1.7 million tons over the 2010-11 season that ran through last September, according to a survey by the International Cocoa Organization in London.

Cocoa supplies may outpace demand by 7,000 tons in the current season, according to Macquarie Group Ltd. That would follow a surplus of 347,000 tons. The ICCO is still forecasting a shortage of 71,000 tons and may give updated figures today at a press conference in Ecuador, following meetings of its members.

“We would even argue that there is a risk of an upward revision of this figure, given that recent rains across western Africa have been positive for the mid-crop,” Tobias said, commenting on the ICCO’s figure. Ivory Coast and Ghana, the world’s two biggest cocoa producers, are located in the region.

To contact the reporter on this story: Isis Almeida in London at ialmeida3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Deane at jdeane3@bloomberg.net

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