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    Global Surplus Of Cocoa Projected

    International Cocoa Organization reassures chocolate makers.

    The International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) has revised a gloomy cocoa estimate of a 5,000-metric ton deficit in supply to predict a global surplus of 80,000 metric tons of cocoa in the coming year, assuring manufacturers of a steady supply, according to a report by FoodNavigator-USA.com.

    In the ICCO's quarterly cocoa bulletin, the trade organization announced a ‘record' year for cocoa production and said favorable weather conditions were an important factor in explaining the bumper crop.

    U.S. consumers devour more cocoa than anyone – 781,000 metric tons last year. The next largest consumers were Germans, who consumed 278,000 metric tons. Global exports of chocolate and chocolate products grew 9.7 percent year on year, according to the ICCO.

    The report of the surplus comes in the wake of recent Ivory Coast strike action and will put to rest fears among chocolate manufacturers that cocoa supplies could diminish due to both the unrest and outbreaks of the swollen shoot virus harming crops in the region, according to the report.

    World cocoa production for 2005-2006 rose 6 percent to 3.592 million metric tons, with Africa accounting for 72 percent of supplies.

    Good weather conditions and regular rainfall during peak growing times spurred crops and mitigated the disruption caused by strikes, which were called by farmers union Anaproci seeking greater financial support for growing co-operatives. The strikes were suspended at the end of last month and attempts to find a solution to appease both growers and government are ongoing.

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