March 15 (Bloomberg) -- Sellers of cocoa from Ghana, the second-biggest grower, are seeking a higher premium in Europe as the harvest nears its end and purchases by the regulator decline, four people with direct knowledge of the sales said.
Ghanaian cocoa in the European market was at a premium of 80 pounds ($121) to 90 pounds to the price on the NYSE Liffe exchange in London, said the traders, who asked not to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak to the media. That compares with 80 pounds to 85 pounds on Feb. 20 and 75 pounds to 80 pounds a month earlier.
Purchases by the Ghana Cocoa Board, the regulator, were 594,000 metric tons from the start of the season Oct. 1 through Feb. 28, according to KnowledgeCharts, a unit of Commodities Risk Analysis in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. That’s 17 percent lower than a year earlier. The data are used by the market as an indication of output. The main crop will end in May. A smaller harvest, known as the light crop, runs from June to September.
Cocoa from Ivory Coast, the largest producer, was at a premium of 40 pounds to 50 pounds to the exchange price, said the traders. That compares with 35 pounds to 50 pounds three weeks ago and 40 pounds to 45 pounds a month earlier.
Cocoa for May delivery dropped 0.8 percent to 1,430 pounds a ton by 3:06 p.m. in London.
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