* Price ratios firm on strong demand from chocolate makers
* Purchasing differentials for Ivory Coast cocoa beans firm
AMSTERDAM Oct 5 Price ratios for cocoa butter
were firm in Europe's cash cocoa market on strong demand for
nearby contracts, traders said.
Ratios for the key chocolate ingredient offered for sale for
January-March delivery on Friday were 1.63 times nearby London
cocoa bean contracts <0#LCC:>, up from 1.62 times London last
week and only 1.22 in early July.
"There is strong demand for butter for delivery this year,
but there is little capacity to produce more," one trader said.
"Chocolate demand is not rising so it seems that chocolate
makers did not calculate their needs well," he said.
Market researchers Mintel said that while the global
chocolate market value will be little changed on the year at
$84.5 billion in 2012, Western Europe's chocolate market value
is set to fall by around 5 percent.
Purchasing differentials for cocoa beans from Ivory Coast
firmed over the past week on concerns the farmers are not
satisfied with the minimum price set by the government and could
have decided to hold on to their beans, traders said.
"We are getting some reports that farmers are not happy with
the price," one trader said. "There are also concerns that the
quality is not good enough."
Ivory Coast differentials for March delivery were about 60
pounds ($96.99) over London March contracts, from 30
30 pounds last week.
Disruption to trading on the Liffe markets, caused by
technical issues, hampered activity on the London markets on
($1 = 0.6186 British pounds)
(Reporting by Ivana Sekularac; editing by Keiron Henderson)