Cocoa Warehouse Said to Remove Damaged Bags From 9,000-Ton Batch

Warehouse officials are removing water-damaged bags of cocoa found among a 9,000-metric-ton batch held in the Belgian port of Antwerp, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter.

The beans stored by Commodity Centre (Holdings) Ltd. are equal to 6 percent of inventories reported by the NYSE Liffe bourse July 22. The extent of the damage is not yet known. The cocoa was suspended for delivery into the July contract, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. Undamaged bags will be combined into the 10-ton lots traded on NYSE Liffe, the person said.

Water stains were found on some bags of the cocoa, which originated in Cameroon, as they were moved to another warehouse, two people said in May. The stains added to concern about supply after stockpiles fell to the lowest in a decade in February. While total inventories rose 31 percent since then, they are still about 57 percent below the 10-year average.

Adaora Anunoby, a spokeswoman for NYSE Liffe, declined to comment. Alec Gunn, a director at Commodity Centre, was unavailable for comment.

Cocoa delivered into NYSE Liffe futures must have a valid certificate from the bourse, which sets rules on origin, quality and delivery points. Warehouses monitored by the bourse held 107,220 tons with valid certificates on July 22, with 57 percent of the total in Antwerp depots, exchange data show. Total stockpiles, including beans with expired certificates, were 142,140 tons.

Futures rose 8.9 percent to 1,563 pounds ($2,374) a ton on NYSE Liffe this year, compared with a 17 percent slump in the Standard & Poor’s GSCI Agriculture Index of eight commodities.

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