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Cocoa was reasonably stable during the first half of August, however in the latter half of the month prices firmed above 1950 levels. No fundamental news actually changed although there are the usual spate of rumour and conjecture which together with the uncertain overall economic situation means that prices are currently at the top end of my predicted range.

Stories include the fact the some Ivorian Co-operatives are warning that after the aftermath of the recent Civil unrest, the migrant labour has still not returned to the plantations so there is a likely labour shortage which could negatively impact on overall Cocoa output in the coming year. However on the positive side the record Ghanain crop of over 1m tonnes is expected by some to be exceeded in the new Cocoa year.


Sugar prices are still very firm and expected to remain that way. Prices have increased fairly dramatically and UK Industry is squealing about the high cost of sugar going forward. As the Sugar Regime of production, export and import quotas is being altered (this is ongoing) customers are demanding that further sugar is made available to ease prices. Significantly, Tate & Lyle have just announced that they are suing the EU Commission for £35m in compensation. Please click here to view article

A question of watch this space!

Whatever happens, in the short term all sugar containing products have to increase from 1st October 2011. The Glucose Industry traditionally pitch their prices at a small discount to Sugar as in many applications, glucose can be used to replace or part replace sugar. To be fair their raw material costs have also increased, but it is probably a profitable time to be a Glucose Refiner!


The new re-vitalised and strong £ stayed at higher levels most of the month but dropped back down in the last week or so.

In my dreams, if we saw Sterling strengthening to levels of Euro 1.25-1.30, then most ingredients prices would ease considerably, even though this would be negative for Exporters from the UK. However this is just a dream and in the real world dreams hardly ever come true!

Tony Mycock
1st September 2011



HB Ingredients
Cocoa House, 15, The Cliffe Industrial Estate, Lewes, East Sussex. BN8 6JL.
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Enquiries:+44(0)845 88 00 799 Fax:+44(0)845 88 00 833