Weekly cocoa market review 12/21/2020.

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Last week, ICE U.S. cocoa futures closed lower at $2,506 a ton. Cocoa prices fell sharply last week from over $2,650 to just $2,500. Even the falling dollar could not provide support for cocoa .
Last week was therefore a weather-oriented market. Indeed, above-average rains combined with sunny periods in most cocoa-growing areas of Ivory Coast should improve the quality and size of beans at the end of the main harvest. Ivory Coast, the world's leading cocoa producer, is in the dry season, which runs from mid-November to March, when rains are normally light and infrequent. Producers welcomed a second consecutive week of good rains, which they say will trigger a new flowering mid-harvest from April to September and also boost the yield of the last stage of the main crop from October to March. Farmers said they expected large volumes of beans to leave the bush until the end of January.
Fears of reduced demand with an ICCO report predicting a surplus in the 2020/21 crop and a crop that looks good explain last week's drop.
For the 2020/21 season, the arrivals in Ivorian ports are 996K tons as of November 22, against 883K tons at the same period the previous season. Cocoa stocks are down to 2908 thousand bags of 60 Kg .
The International Cocoa Organization ICCO has revised down the cocoa surplus to 19,000 tons compared to a previous forecast of 42,000 tons. The ICCO estimated world cocoa production at 4.697 million tonnes, about 27,000 tonnes less than its previous forecast. World cocoa grindings are forecast at 4,631 thousand tonnes, 4 thousand less.
On the international level, the Republican leader of the Senate Mitch McConnell announced Sunday evening that an agreement of 900 billion would have been reached. The Fed said its stock purchases would continue at the current rate of $120 billion per month until substantial additional progress has been made. The brexit saga continues, with the European Parliament's Sunday night deadline for a deal passed, but negotiations will continue. No one seems to want to take responsibility for a possible failure. After Pfizer , the FDA also approved Moderna's vaccine. As far as the pandemic is concerned, the vaccination campaign has started in the United States. The new strain of coronavirus detected in Great Britain worries, it would be 70% more contagious. The global death toll is rising, we have just passed 76 million cases worldwide, with more than 1.692 million deaths . The United States is still the most affected country, with 317,000 deaths and more than 17 million cases.
The Dollar fell last week, with the DXY closing lower at 89.924, hitting a 2 1/2 year low. The long-term trend is still bearish .


Ivory Coast and Ghana experienced above normal rainfall in October with an average rainfall of more than 150mm. They were more mixed in November. The southern parts of these 2 countries received above normal rainfall and the northern parts were 50mm below normal. Cocoa trees are more affected by rainfall than any other climatic factor. The dry season started in Ivory Coast and Ghana and lasts from mid-November to March. Producers hope that the Harmattan will not come too early this year. It is a dusty wind from the northeast of the Sahara that blows during the dry season. Harmattan can have a negative impact on crops. The wind would already be present in the northern part of the country, which explains why rainfall was already more concentrated in the coastal areas. Last week, the rains were higher than normal.


Cocoa stocks are down to 2908 against 2967 thousand 60 kg bags last week. ICE US and EU cocoa stocks are above last season's stocks at the same period.


The DXY index representing the Dollar against a basket of foreign currencies closed last week down to 89.924, hitting a 2 1/2 year low. The long-term trend is still bearish . The possibilities of reaching an agreement on a contingency plan to support the U.S. economy, as well as the possibility of an economic recovery, are expected to continue.
Disappointing economic results weighed on the currency last week. Indeed, U.S. Retail Sales down to -0.9% and Unemployment Claims up to 885K disappointed.
A low dollar is generally favorable for dollar-denominated commodity markets.


The weekly COT ( Commitments of Traders ) report of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) shows all the positions opened by all market participants. The COT report is published on Friday, and reflects the open positions on Tuesday of the same week. It shows the position of commercial traders (producers, commodity buyers, ...) but also non-commercial (speculators).
The net positions of speculators on the futures markets are particularly interesting to observe.
The speculative net position on the cocoa futures markets is up this week to 34.575 K instead of 32.379 K.


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