For Q4 2020, North American cocoa grind was reported this week at 118,043 MT of beans, flat from the previous quarter but up a strong 7 percent from Q4 2020 grind of 110,371 MT.
The trade sees this report as encouragingly bullish for the recovery of grind in 2021. Recovery is the key word: Grind in Q4 2020 was almost exactly equal to the ten-year average for that quarter.
For all of 2020, grind totaled 462,670 MT, down 3.5 percent YOY and an 11-year low. On a calendar-year basis, North American grind has not shown any growth since 2014.
Asian processors have been the more significant source of world grind growth in recent years. Asian grind growth was reported at 217,546 MT, up from the previous quarter but down 4 percent from Q4 2019 grind of 227,013 MT.
Grind for 2020 totaled 830,241 MT, down over 5 percent YOY. This volume is still up nearly 11 percent from the five-year average thanks to rapid growth in recent years. In fact, 2020 grind was still up 6 percent from 2018’s grind.
The market will be waiting for Q4 grind updates from origin countries and Western Europe.