ICE flags more certified cocoa after Continental reports damage

Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:56pm EST

* Damaged certified cocoa around 1 pct of New York total

* Water-damaged certified coffee 8.3 pct of New York total

* Non certified arabica also damaged - importer

NEW YORK, Nov 29 (Reuters) - ICE Futures U.S. said on Thursday it flagged more certified cocoa as non deliverable after a warehouse operator on the U.S. East Coast reported more possible water damage in another location, one month after Hurricane Sandy damaged the region.

Roughly 160 bags of certified cocoa are stored at a Continental Terminals warehouse in Jersey City, NJ, which "may have sustained water damage," ICE said in a notice.

The warehouse operator indicated the certified cocoa did not sustain damage, but it has been flagged as non deliverable as a precautionary measure, the exchange stated.

If damaged, it will bring the tally of damaged certified cocoa to 7,260 bags, roughly 1 percent of all exchange certified cocoa currently stored in the Port of New York. For coffee, the beans damaged at Continental Terminals are 8.3 percent of the certified arabica currently stored in the Port of New York, which holds the most certified coffee in the United States at just over 420,000 bags, exchange data showed.

Earlier this month, the exchange suspended a storage facility in Kearney, NJ, operated by Continental Terminals until damage caused by the hurricane is repaired. The suspension came after Continental reported a total of 7,100 bags of certified cocoa and 35,000 60-kg bags of certified arabica coffee were damaged by the storm.

Bags of cocoa range from 62 kg to 69 kg (137 lbs-152 lbs).

Continental was immediately available for comment.

As a precautionary measure, all of the cocoa stored at the Jersey City facility has been flagged as non-deliverable, ICE said in a notice.

Continental Terminals also stores uncertified beans. One U.S. importer who buys coffee for roasters had 5,000 bags of non certified arabica beans at one of its warehouses in Kearney. He continues to wait to be informed how much of it was damaged.

"Once the water got in there, the bottom bags burst so then all the stacks fell over," he said. "So then you had one big mountain of coffee bean bags that they're in the process of going through, separating bag by bag."

Continental operates five ICE certified cocoa warehouses and three certified coffee warehouses in New Jersey. It is the only storage operator that has reported damage from Hurricane Sandy to ICE.

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