Ticker:CO or CC
Exchange: NYBOT
Trading Hours: 8:00 A.M. - 11:50 P.M. (EST)
Contract Size: 10 metric tons (22,046 pounds)
Contract Months:Mar, May, Jul, Sep, Dec
Price Quote:Dollars per metric ton
Tick Size: $1/ton, 1 pt=$10
First Notice Day:Ten business days prior to first business day of delivery month. Last Trading Day:
One business day prior to last notice day. Daily Price Limit: None

40 Yr Seasonal Chart Long-Term Chart Supply & Demand Tables

Cocoa cultivation is generally confined to areas not more than 20 degrees north or south of the equator. The tree takes four or five years after planting to yield cocoa beans, and from eight to ten years to achieve maximum production. The fruit of the cocoa tree appears as pods primarily on the tree's trunk and lower main branches. When ripe, these pods are cut down and opened, and the beans are removed, fermented and dried. The cocoa butter extracted from the beans is used in a number of products, ranging from cosmetics to pharmaceuticals, but its main use is in the manufacture of chocolate candy.

Currently, the Cote d'Ivoire is the world's leading cocoa producing nation. Brazil and Ghana rank next among major world producers, followed by Malaysia, Indonesia and Nigeria. Annual cocoa crop yield is affected to a large extent by weather conditions, disease, insects, crop care, and political and economic conditions in the producing nations. Variations in these conditions and the subsequent effect on production in the 1976 crop year led to a sharp increase in world cocoa prices in 1977. Volatile prices in the 1980s were a result of high but variable world production and uncertainty related to the influence of anticipated surpluses on the world market.

From time to time, the International Cocoa Organization (ICO) forges agreements intended to support prices. The ICO purchases large quantities of cocoa and stores it, pushing market prices upward. When the ICO fails to buoy prices, the market often drops precipitously, as was the case in 1988, when prices fell from $1,950/metric ton in January to a 13-year low of about $1,100 in October.

Cocoa is consumed predominantly in countries of relatively high income. The leading cocoa importing nations currently are the US, Germany and the Netherlands. These countries accounted for about 50.5% of world imports in 1991/92. The US is the leading importer of cocoa products such as cocoa butter, liquor and powder ­ accounting for 28.1% of world imports in 1991/92.

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