10 FEBRUARY 1998. WORLD: AGRICULTURE (COCOA)

Andrew Tarnowski of Reuters reports that despite damage to cocoa production in Ecuador and Malaysia, cocoa futures look good, with the possibility of a world production record. This is a sharp contrast to August and September when cocoa futures looked grim and prices rose to $1,940 per metric ton, based on experiences with the 1982 - 1983 ENSO event. The Ivory Coast (40 % of world production) expects a record crop of the world's cocoa while Ecuador has lost half its crop to floods and drought has "decimated" Malaysia's production. Ironically, Indonesia, reeling from drought and unrest, expects a record crop. Futures now stand at roughly $1,600/t.

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