February 15, 2019 / 1:31 PM / 5 months ago

Cocoa prices seen edging up despite small global surplus - Reuters poll

FILE PHOTO: A farmer is seen at his cocoa plantation in Toumodi, Ivory Coast October 13, 2018. REUTERS/Thierry Gouegnon/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - World cocoa prices are forecast to rise slightly this year despite a small global surplus, a Reuters survey of seven analysts and traders showed on Friday.

ICE New York cocoa prices were expected to end the year at $2,450 a tonne, up eight percent from Thursday’s close, according to the median forecast of responses.

A small global surplus of 30,000 tonnes was seen for the 2018/19 season, marginally higher than the 22,000 tonne surplus estimated by the International Cocoa Organization for 2017/18.

ICE London cocoa prices were expected to end the year at 1,850 pounds a tonne, also up eight percent from Thursday’s close.

Respondents said key factors to watch would include currency volatility as Britain prepares to leave the European Union while the prospect of receiving less desirable bulk parcels of Cameroon cocoa should continue to diminish, helping to underpin London prices.

Traders will be keeping a particularly close eye on the weather in top grower Ivory Coast, as well as any signs of political unrest in the run-up to 2020 presidential elections.

Ivory Coast production in 2018/19 was seen at 2.17 million tonnes and Ghana at 872,500 tonnes, bringing combined output to 3.04 million, up an ICCO estimate of 2.86 million for 2017/18.

Reporting by Nigel Hunt; Editing by Andrew Heavens

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