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The world is devouring chocolate again, cocoa markets show

‘North America is not just recovering but expanding,’ said Sergey Chetvertakov.
Image: Nadirah Zakariya/Bloomberg

The global recovery in chocolate consumption is underway, if cocoa grindings are an indication.

A significant portion of chocolate sales rely on the travel industry and the impulsive candy purchases that people make at duty-free shops across world airports. The Covid-19 pandemic halted that, but now there are signs of a prolonged uptick in demand.

Bean processing probably rose 6.6% in North America for the three months ended September 30, compared with 5.8% in Europe and 5.5% in Asia, according to median estimates in surveys conducted by Bloomberg. If realised, the figures will add to gains posted in the prior three-month period.

The European Cocoa Association will release grinding data on Wednesday. The National Confectioners Association will publish North American figures on October 14, followed by Asia’s the next day.

“North America is not just recovering but expanding,” said Sergey Chetvertakov, analyst for F.O. Licht in Germany. “We still have somewhat depressed demand because travel is not there. But otherwise at least in western countries we see some sorts of recovery, that there are more events and more freedom.”

Here’s a breakdown of the survey of third-quarter grinding estimates compared with a year earlier:

Region 3Q grind estimate Range
North America +6.6% 4% to 10% (eight respondents)
Europe +5.8% 5% to 9% (eight respondents
Asia +5.5% 3% to 13.5% (eight respondents)
© 2021 Bloomberg

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