(Recasts lede, adds prior grind data, companies in survey, data
from other regions)
NEW YORK, April 17 North American cocoa
grindings rose for the sixth straight quarter with the smallest
increase in nearly a year-and-a-half after the 2013 figure was
revised upward, data from the National Confectioners Association
(NCA) said on Thursday.
North American cocoa grindings rose 1.03 percent in the
first quarter of 2014 to 129,007 tonnes, from the first quarter
The results, which are considered a gauge of demand for
chocolate's key ingredient, are in line with estimates that
pegged grinding anywhere from unchanged to 1.2 percent higher.
The NCA upwardly revised first-quarter 2013 grindings data
by about 1,800 tonnes to 127,692 tonnes, from the 125,887 tonnes
reported a year ago. The first-quarter 2014 data is up 2.5
percent from the original data.
The aggregate number of 17 plants reporting was unchanged.
The data was collected from 11 companies with plants in
Canada, the United States and Mexico. Survey respondents
included chocolate makers Barry Callebaut USA, The
Blommer Chocolate Co, Hershey Co, Nestle Chocolate &
Confections, ADM Cocoa and Mars Chocolate
Last week, Europe's first quarter cocoa grind came in at a
modest rise of 0.4 percent at 340,735 tonnes.
Earlier this week, Asia's quarterly cocoa grindings were
reported up 3.7 percent at 159,617 tonnes, in stark contrast to
Malaysian grinding, which tumbled 13.6 percent from the first
quarter of 2013 to 62,359 tonnes. Malaysia's drop came as
grinders there cut output in an attempt to tackle high powder
inventories and some operations have shifted to Indonesia.
(Reporting by Marcy Nicholson; Editing by Steve Orlofsky,