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Chocolate Supplies Buoyed as Ecuador Cocoa Beats El Nino

Ecuador, already the world’s biggest grower of flavored beans used in fine chocolate, is poised to extend its lead over Brazil as the top cocoa producer in the Americas as exporters forecast a record harvest.

Cocoa output probably will rise about 9 percent to 240,000 metric tons in 2014 on government assistance programs, new plantings and as concern eases that the El Nino weather phenomenon would curb yields, according to Ivan Ontaneda, president of Ecuador’s National Cocoa Exporters Association, known as Anecacao. That’s 14 percent more than the International Cocoa Organization’s 210,000-ton forecast and 20 percent higher than its estimate for Brazil, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, based on information from the group.