Harvest of the main cocoa crop is underway for world’s top origins, Ivory Coast and Ghana. The market will be watching closely, but the size of the overall crop is not now in question, with a surplus all but guaranteed. But what of demand?

The reported Q3-2017 European grind gave us a new glimpse at cocoa demand. At 353,433 MT, this is Europe’s highest Q3 grind since Q3 2011. For 2017 to date, grind is up an encouraging 2.0 percent from the first three quarters of 2016. Looking at data for the entire marketing year, 2016/17 grind is up 1.3 percent, solid but not as impressive as the 3.3 percent growth for 2015/16—that growth, though, followed the 1.9 percent drop in Europe’s grind in 2014/15. Grind figures for North America will be reported on Oct. 19.

Quarterly European cocoa grind history

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