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Cocoa Shortage Will Be 100,000 Tons This Season, Olam Says

Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Cocoa production will lag behind demand by 100,000 metric tons in the 2011-12 season started in October, according to Singapore-based Olam International Ltd.

Supplies outpaced consumption by 341,000 tons last season, with crops in top global producers Ivory Coast and Ghana rising, the International Cocoa Organization estimated.

The crop in Ivory Coast will fall to 1.35 million tons in 2011-12, down from over 1.75 million tons in 2010-11, Gerry Manley, managing director and global head for cocoa at the company, said by phone from London today. He declined to comment on the size of the crop in Ghana, the second-largest grower.

Global bean processing will climb by 3 percent this season, down from a 4.5 percent increase in the 2010-11 season, he said. Grindings, an indication of demand, are likely to be unchanged in Europe in 2011-12, Manley added.

“The U.S. looks stronger than we would have expected,” Manley said, referring to grindings. Demand for cocoa powder would support grindings growth in Asia, with strong consumption in India, China and Indonesia, he said.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net

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