Weekly cocoa market review 11/23/2020.

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Last week, ICE U.S. cocoa futures closed sharply higher at $2,712 a ton.
According to Bloomberg, Hershey is responsible for the sudden upward movement in cocoa prices by buying massively on the December futures contracts to avoid paying the LID and thus make big savings. More and more traders are using the cocoa market to avoid the LID, the $400 premium introduced by Ghana and Ivory Coast, which greatly annoys these two countries. Joseph Aidoo director of Cocobod accuses the industrialists of wanting to derail the LID. Under these conditions, the 2 countries threaten to suspend the sustainability programs, allowing companies to display ethical origins and sustainable cultivation of cocoa .
The dry period in West Africa begins in mid-November, with some producers further north worried about an early arrival of the Harmattan, the dry and dusty wind coming from the northeast of the Sahara. Moisture in the soils should allow a bumper harvest until the end of January-February for producers further south.
Hope for a vaccine is fuelling the markets, and Pfizer and Moderna have announced very encouraging results. Many countries, such as the United States, Germany, Spain, and others, are already preparing vaccination campaigns. The pandemic continues unabated, with more than 58 million cases worldwide and more than 1.382 million deaths . The United States is the most affected country with more than 256,000 deaths and more than 12 million cases.
The hope of a vaccine, as well as the prospects of a massive stimulus package, is driving the markets. The dollar is still low and in a downward trend, the DXY closes at 92.392.


Ivory Coast and Ghana experienced above normal rainfall in October with an average of more than 150mm. The dry season usually starts in mid-November. Last week, about 25-50mm of rainfall fell mainly in the southern part of Ghana and Ivory Coast along the coastal areas. Producers hope that Harmattan will not come too early this year. It is a dusty wind from the northeastern Sahara that blows from December to March during the dry season. Harmattan can adversely affect crops. The wind would already be present in the northern part of the country, which explains why rainfall is increasingly concentrated in coastal areas. The rainfall forecast for next week is about the same as last week.


Cocoa stocks are down to 3170 compared to 3254 thousand 60 kg bags the previous week. ICE US and EU cocoa stocks rose above last season's stocks at the same time.


The DXY index representing the Dollar against a range of foreign currencies closed last week down to 92.392, and the trend is still bearish . Joe Biden , who will be invested on January 20, spoke of a $3 trillion support plan. Forex traders are anticipating an increase in the money supply. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has called on the FED to return unused funds from emergency aid programs for the coronavirus crisis. The FED has decided to do so, although it considers this decision premature. Last week, this did not cause much movement in the currency market, which remained relatively calm.
A low dollar is generally favorable to the 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 16.362 K instead of 7.604 K.


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