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European Cocoa Processing Rose 3.5% in 1st Quarter, ECA Says

European cocoa usage rose 3.5 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, figures from the European Cocoa Association showed.

Bean processing climbed to 353,103 metric tons from 341,096 tons a year earlier, the Brussels-based industry group said today in its first-quarter grind report. This was the first increase in six months. The so-called grind fell 2.5 percent to 342,427 tons in the fourth quarter from the year-earlier period.

The so-called grind in Germany climbed 23 percent to 108,816.6 tons in the first quarter from a year earlier, the Association of the German Confectionery Industry, or BDSI, said in a separate statement.

The European cocoa association gathered its figures from 24 companies including Kraft Foods Inc. and Ferrero SpA.

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