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Cocoa Supply May Outpace Demand for Third Year, Ganes-Chase Says

Nov. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Cocoa supplies may outpace demand for a third year if the weather is favorable for global crops, according to Judy Ganes-Chase, the president of J. Ganes Consulting LLC.

“The balance can swing from a shallow deficit of 11,000 metric tons to a surplus of as much as 138,000 tons if the weather is fine,” she said during an interview today in Abengourou, Ivory Coast. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we ended the season in a surplus yet again.”

In the season started Oct. 1, production will total 4.05 million to 4.2 million tons, up from 3.99 million a year earlier, Ganes-Chase estimates. Bean processing will rise 2.5 percent to 4.02 million tons after contracting 0.15 percent last season, she said.

Cocoa will average $2,200 a ton to $2,250 this season, Ganes-Chase forecast. Prices will be supported even as supplies increase by a rebound in demand and political turmoil in Ivory Coast, the world’s biggest producer, she said.

Useage by bean processors will probably grow because of increased profitability, Ganes-Chase said. The so-called combined ratio, which measures the price of cocoa butter and powder relative to that of beans, has risen above 3, a level that starts becoming more attractive for grinders to turn factories back on, she 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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