Tags: Cocoa | beans | Anthony | Ward | Armajaro | Holdings

Sweet Deal: Cocoa Player May Be Cornering Market

By Dan Weil   |   Wednesday, 21 Jul 2010 08:58 AM

Cocoa prices recently surged to a 33-year high above $3,700 per metric ton, as a single trader has bought up to 240,000 tons of cocoa beans.

That would be worth about $1 billion, prompting The Wall Street Journal to dub Anthony Ward of Armajaro Holdings as “the new kingpin of chocolate.”

Armajaro now owns almost every cocoa bean sitting in European warehouses.

That equals the amount of cocoa products that Americans eat in six months, and it would be enough to make 15 billion Hershey bars, according to the Journal.

Ward’s move could end up pushing chocolate prices much higher.

"The more people that he can convince that his story is the right story, the better chance he has," a trader at a major cocoa processor told the Journal.

"He is trying to take cocoa out of our mouth — and make us pay him more."

If cocoa prices keep rising, Ward will earn tasty profits, as chocolate makers rush to buy his beans before the price goes up even more.

But if more supply comes on to the market or demand slumps, he will be eating sour losses.

Surely Ward was happy to see the recent report showing that European food companies’ demand for cocoa hit a nine-year high in the second quarter.

“This is big,” Tom Mikulski, a senior market strategist at Lind-Waldock brokerage, told Bloomberg. “People are worried about the supply situation in the short term.”

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Cocoa prices recently surged to a 33-year high above $3,700 per metric ton, as a single trader has bought up to 240,000 tons of cocoa beans. That would be worth about $1 billion, prompting The Wall Street Journal to dub Anthony Ward of Armajaro Holdings as the new kingpin...
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2010-58-21
 

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