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Crude oil and gasoline stock:

Compared to last bulletin, U.S. crude oil and gasoline inventories grew really fast as crude production and refining output rose. In addition to that imports of gasoline rose by nearly 75% compared to last week. According to EIA the actual refining capacity is at 91% and in some regions, mostly those who suffered the most from the hurricane the refining utilization is at 99.8%, (east coast). Actually, the U.S. gasoline stock is the high proportion of a 5-year range, which was absolutely not the case 3 weeks ago. This is increase has an ultimate consequence on the crude oil stock that is in decline for about 3 months. Actual stock of crude oil is 10% lower than last year, 443 million barrels.

Gasoline stock increased by 2.5% (5.7 mb) compared to last week, reaching 226.5 mb.

Crude oil stock declined by 1.15% (-5.1 mb) compared to last weel, reaching 443 mb.

Gasoline prices:

RBOB futures price fell by 4 cents/gal from November 1st to settle at $1.70/gal on December 7th.  The RBOB-Brent crack spread (∆ between RBOB price & price of crude oil) fell by 8 cents/gal to settle at 22 cents/gal over the same period. EIA estimates that US gasoline consumption in November averaged almost 9.2 million b/d, which is close to five years high for the month of November.

ULSD prices:

ULSD futures price increased by 3 cents/gal from November 1st to settle at $1.90/gal on December 7th.  The ULSD-Brent crack spread (∆ between ULSD price & price of crude oil) fell by 1 cent/gal to settle at 42 cents/gal over the same period. The total distillate consumption and exports rose to 5.3 million b/d. Because of lower distillate stocks and increased distillate demand this year, the ULSD crack spread has remained higher than its five-year average each month since July 2017. The increasingly tight U.S. distillate market could make ULSD price increases more likely this winter if global demand for distillate remains high and if the US experience colder-than-normal temperatures in the U.S. East Coast, where heating oil is widely used for residential heating.

Forward curves:

No change on the diesel forward curve. However, we can see a steeper contango on the RBOB forward curve, demonstrating that today, there is more supply than demand, which is logical in the low season.

Recommendation:

As we can see on the forward curves the prices of futures contract are going down (Backwardation) this means the right time to sell is today (higher price than in the future). The switch from contango to backwardation could be explained by the reduction of inventory level of crude oil and future supply cut of it.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-global-oil/oil-prices-hold-around-2-1-2-year-highs-idUSKBN1D603A

https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/index.cfm?page=gasoline_fluctuations

http://www.cmegroup.com/trading/energy/refined-products/rbob-gasoline.html

https://www.theice.com/products/34361119/Low-Sulphur-Gasoil-Futures/data

https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/steo/report/global_oil.cfm

https://www.fuelseurope.eu/dataroom/static-graphs/

https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/steo/pdf/steo_full.pdf

http://www.apta.ca/uploads/_January%205,%202015_%20Diesel,%20gasoline%20share%20seasonal%20relationship.pdf

https://www.theice.com/products/34361119/Low-Sulphur-Gasoil-Futures/data

http://www.cmegroup.com/trading/energy/refined-products/rbob-gasoline.html

https://stillwaterassociates.com/crack-spread-a-quick-and-dirty-indicator-of-refining-profitability/

COPPER BULLETIN #3

Copper <3 China: A complicated love story

PRICE MOVEMENTS

Copper prices reached a 3 weeks high. It went from 6733.00 USD on the 1st of December (last bulletin) per ton to 6843.00 per ton USD today.

https://www.lme.com/Metals/Non-ferrous/Copper#tabIndex=2

As seen previously, prices went down due to a strong USD and lower purchases from China. We will now see what drivers caused a “recovery” on the copper.

FUTURE PRICES

The copper market structure is still in a contango. As seen on the graph below, the spot price is lower than the future price.

https://www.lme.com/Metals/Non-ferrous/Copper#tabIndex=0

DRIVERS

Despite the production limitation to lower pollution that China implemented, the country opted for a “stockpiling” strategy in order to anticipate higher production costs in 2018.

High expectations of the results of Chinese industrials in the stock markets supported the price increase of copper. The raise of stock prices boosted the prices of industrial metals overall.

SUPPLY/DEMAND

On the demand side, China’s dynamic high industrial output, 6.1% above the same period last year,  correlates with the price hike shown on the spot price graph before. Moreover, Platts announced that    China’s demand is forecast to increase due to new smelting projects in the country in 2018. On the supply side, Chile, the largest copper producing country, is expecting to negotiate 32 contracts with unions which could have a negative impact on the global supply of copper as experienced earlier this year at the Escondida mine the largest single mine.

RECOMMENDATIONS

As the market is in a contango, the recommendation would be to go long physical, short futures.

It seems that this strategy is already followed by Copper’s main lover: China as they are accumulating their stock.

SOURCES

Mining.com (2017) Copper jumps to 3-week high available at:

http://www.mining.com/copper-jumps-3-week-high/

Reuters.com (2017) METALS-Copper near two-week high supported by Chinese data, global growth hopes available at:

https://www.reuters.com/article/global-metals/metals-copper-near-two-week-high-supported-by-chinese-data-global-growth-hopes-idUSL8N1OE43C

Finance.nine.com (2017) Copper hits 3-wk high, on Wall St buying available at:

https://finance.nine.com.au/2017/12/18/08/02/copper-hits-3-wk-high-on-wall-st-buying

  1. Price movement

Source: www.lme.com/Metals/Non-ferrous/Aluminium

Since our first bulletin (November 10th), the price (USD/MT) has been very volatile. But on overall, the variation between the price on the day of our first bulletin (November 10th) and the price observed on December 19th is quite minimal (USD 28.5, which represent 1.36%). The price between our second bulletin (November 29th) and December 19th has only increased of ¢50.

2. Forward Curve

Source: Bloomberg (2017) Bloomberg Professional [Online]. Available at: Subscription Service (Accessed: 20 December 2017)

Green = November 8th forward curve

Blue = November 29th forward curve

Orange = December 20th forward curve

Since our first bulletin, the forward curves have always been in contango. There haven’t been any major changes. The curves are mainly parallel.

3. Inventory level

Source: Infomine – Chart Builder

Since our first bulletin, the aluminium LME Warehouse Level has been on a downward trend.

4. Supply & Demand

a) Lamborghini Urus:

Urus advertisement

Lamborghini recently unveiled the Urus, a long-waited SUV with a price tag of $200’000. What is interesting for us is the aluminium used to produce this vehicle. The chassis is a blend of aluminium and steel. The doors, the torsional beams and the cross-members are made of aluminium.

Why use aluminium, an expensive material, in the car industry?

For weight reduction purposes, aluminium is a lightweight material.

These last few years, aluminium has been gaining more and more popularity in the automobile industry for that reason. And there is more to come. With the emergence of electric vehicles, the need for aluminium will rise, as electric batteries batteries are quite heavy.

The question is, will the production be able to meet the demand? And subsequently, will it drove (pun intended) price’s rise?

Incremental commodity demand in a 100% EV world (% of todays global production):

b) Noble’s Jamaican alumina plant:

Satellite view

The commodity trader Noble Group Ltd is currently in talks with its creditors concerning its net debt of $3.7bn. In an attempt to raise funds to help pay down its debt, Noble has been selling selling a numerous of assets these last few months.

One of their last remaining physical assets and likely the most valuable is a stake in a Jamaican alumina plant, called Jamalco. Jamalco has been for many years a key part of the global alumina industry, going back to the days of commodities legend Marc Rich. It includes an alumina refinery, bauxite mining and a port on the south coast.

The question is, will Noble sell this gem asset? Or will it hook on it because of the revival of the aluminium industry?

c.)     Chinese beers: Video

5. Recommendations

Our recommendations for the next 3 months are:

●      Physical position: long

●      Hedging position: short

The aluminium team (Camille Badollet, Senait Hailu & Bryan Merryweather) wishes you happy holidays and a wonderful new year!

Sources

Bloomberg (2017) Bloomberg Professional [Online]. Available at: Subscription Service (Accessed: 29 November 2017)

2017. “Chart Builder” Infomine (online). (Viewed 29 November 2017). Available from: http://www.infomine.com/chartsanddata/chartbuilder.aspx?g=127681&cd=1

2017. “LME ALUMINIUM Price graph” LME (online). (Viewed 30 November 2017). Available from: www.lme.com/Metals/Non-ferrous/Aluminium

STRINGER David, 2017. “Cheers China! Beer Can Switch to Boost Aluminum, Rio Tinto Says”. Bloomberg (online). 4 December 2017. (Viewed 18 December 2017). Available from: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-04/cheers-china-beer-can-switch-to-boost-aluminum-rio-tinto-says

ELLIOTT Hannah, 2017. “Lamborghini finally unveils the $200,000 Urus SUV”. Bloomberg (online). 4 December 2017. (Viewed 18 December 2017). Available from: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-04/lamborghini-finally-unveils-the-200-000-urus-suv

LAMBORGHINI, 2017. “Urus: The world’s first Super Sport Utility Vehicle”. YouTube (online). 4 December 2017. (Viewed 18 December 2017). Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xo1pEPoYi8Y

UBS, 18 May 207. Q-Series UBS Evidence Lab Electric Cart Teardown-Disruption Ahead [PDF Document].

FARCHY Jack, 2017. “What’s left for Noble Group creditors: the answer’s in Jamaica”. Bloomberg (online). 20 November 2017. (Viewed 16 December 2017). Available from: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-19/why-noble-group-s-debt-restructuring-may-have-a-jamaican-flavor

ELMAN Richard, 2017. “Noble seeks a further $1bn from sales to help repay debt”. Financial Times (online). 9 November 2017. (Viewed 16 December 2017). Available from: https://www.ft.com/content/01fd4464-c54a-11e7-a1d2-6786f39ef675#myft:saved-articles:page

Price movements

Since the COP23 climate change summit, the price has kept increasing. China has shut down a few plants they considered too old and polluting. China has also put restrictions on steelmakers from October until March and therefore supply being shortened price keeps going up.

Forward curves: 3 key international hubs


As of December 18th, 2017, the three curves are generally in backwardation, which indicates that there still is a shortage of coal worldwide. (cf. bulletin n°1+2).

This is explained by the decrease in production in China, and the sustained demand from the Asia-Pacific region and from Europe.

However, we can see that the three curves are in contango for the next couple of months future contracts. This could be explained by the effect of seasonality as we just entered winter and that the curves reverse at the beginning of spring.

Inventories

China’s stocks have increased. On December 15th, 2017, it was just below 142 million tonnes (number given by a survey conducted by Umetal in 42 ports of China) which is among the highest levels this year, this is explained by the increase of imports by China (and the restrictions set by the government in China on production).

U.S. stocks have decreased (as explained in bulletin n°2). However, there are still “high” for the season compared to last year stocks at the same date according to Platts. Indeed, coal is sensitive to seasons and the consumption of coal is at highest in winter.

India’s stocks are still low. Power plants have sufficient stocks for only 8 days and are required to have enough for 21 days according to ETEnergy world. India did not anticipate the rise in demand in June and still has not overcome the shortage to be comfortable with stocks. Coal India, the largest coal producer in India, also suffered from logistics issues with railways and was not able to supply the right quantities.

Recommendations

As the forward curves are in contango right now, we recommend to wait until the winter ends to get short of physical:
- Physical position: Long
- Hedging position: Short

Authors : Cindy, Sothea and Isabelle

Bibliography

US Crude Production

US Crude production has never been that high, approaching 10 million barrels per day, a number that it had never reached before. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported this week U.S. oil production reached 9.78 million barrels per day (b/d), and the American Petroleum Institute (API) said production increased to 9.707 million b/d.

Although the price of WTI went up, its price increase was more modest than Brent’s, mainly because of the crack in the forties pipeline (which delivers about 40% of the north sea production). This means that the American crude will likely become even more attractive for bargain hunters in Asia, especially China, where WTI is more attractive than Brent, because the spread of the two light sweet crudes covers the transportation cost (being sold FOB from Cushing, OK)

Forward curves

(In USD)

We can see that the market is still tending to a backwardation whereas the market structure term is currently on contango. The production of Crude getting higher causes the prices to decrease.

WTI Basis

USD                       5/12                      6/12                      7/12                      8/12                      11/12

Futures price       57.62                      55.96                    56.69                         57.36                      57.99

Spot price            57.66                      55.79                     56.50                         57.15                       57.84

Basis                 +0.04                   -0.17                   -0.19                        -0.21                     -0.15

Canada’s struggling

The price gap between the price of Canada’s oil benchmark versus its U.S. equivalent, West Texas Intermediate, has widened to its biggest difference in almost four years, with Canadian crude now selling at a $25 discount. Oil from Canada, being heavy and sour, is difficult to process. Most Canadian oil is shipped down to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast to be refined into products like gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. That means Canadian producers have to compete with U.S. shale oil companies, who also sell to those same refineries and don’t have nearly the same level of transportation headaches to deal with.

http://business.financialpost.com/commodities/energy/canadian-oil-collapses-to-three-year-low-amid-pipeline-and-rail-bottleneck

References :

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Oil-Prices/Why-Is-Canadian-Oil-So-Cheap.html

https://www.theice.com/products/213/WTI-Crude-Futures/data

https://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=PET&s=WCRFPUS2&f=W

http://www.ercequipoise.com/graph/wti-futures-curve/

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-canada-crude-railway/canada-oil-producers-exhaust-options-as-pipelines-railroads-fill-idUSKBN1EC0GW

Source: Malaysian Palm Oil Board

(1 RM = 0.244890 USD)

Price Movements

Since the last bulletin (23.11.2017) the price of Palm oil is still falling. It passes from 2’545 RM/T (USD 618,60) to 2’388.00 RM/T (USD 584.65). We can underline that palm oil market is still impacted by the Indian hike in import taxes on vegetable oils (17.11.17) and high level of inventories.

Malaysia palm oil stock

Malaysian palm oil stocks staged their fastest annual rise in 10 years. It is the consequence of a slowdown exports mainly due to the hike on import taxes that took place few weeks ago in India (previous bulletin). The Malaysian stock of palm oil grew in November to about 2.5 Million Tonnes according to Malaysian Palm Oil Board. This is the highest figure since 2015. Indeed, stocks grew by 54% over last year on back-to-back months. We can underline that the last highest pace of annual growth was in 2009.

Decrease of Exportations

The Stocks increase, as exportations are lower. Exports has decreased by 3.3 % and this decline is because of weak demand from India, which is the palm oil second larger consumer. This phenomenon, as mentioned before, is due to Indian import taxes as Mr. Alan Lim from Kuala Lumpur told in its interview.

Forward Curve

source: Bursa Malaysia / Price: RM/Tonne

Situation: Carry (Supply > Demand / producer will carry storage costs)

As we have seen above, the inventories are increasing because exportations, thus demand, are slowing down. The forward curve illustrates those facts. Indeed, we see a bearish market which is well supplied.

Sources

https://www.agrimoney.com/commodities/commodities/malaysian-palm-oil-stocks-soar-at-fastest-in-years-as-exports-tumble-47061

http://bepi.mpob.gov.my/admin2/price_local_daily_view_cpo_msia.php?more=Y&jenis=1M

http://www.xe.com/fr/currencyconverter/convert/?From=MYR

http://www.bursamalaysia.com/market/derivatives/prices/#/?page=1&contract_code=FCPO

Cotton spot price & chart for December 2017

According to the last spot price for November 2017, it was priced at 71.37 USD per pound. The month of December 2017 shows a slight increase in the price which is actually at 73.41 USD per pound. This rise in the value of cotton is mostly due to supply and demand.

Indeed, China has a big influence and responsibility on the price’s fluctuations. The Chinese government has rose their importation level by more or less 3% in November 2017, which has threatened the world cotton’ supply. According to the table below, the Chinese government has imported 200 thousand bales more in November 2017 than they did in October 2017. The Chinese stock grew from 5,100 thousand bales to 5,300 thousand bales. The main reason of such decision is the country is running out of high quality cotton. A significant part of its cotton industry needs high standard cottons to perform. Therefore, the government of China is thinking about enhancing its cotton trade with foreign countries by decreasing taxes on imports and by increasing the quotas of foreign cottons allowed.

The harvest is also facing a pressure such that a large percent of the crops is already committed and hedged. Supply is getting lower as the price rises.

In addition, cotton analysts expect a reduction in India’s and Pakistan’s production, whereas China’s crop may be revised up as discussed above. Cotton consumption may also increase slightly. In any case, the market seems to be expecting a tighter supply of cotton.


Importation levels at cotton producers

Further information about cotton

For the year 2017/18, forecasts of US cotton expect higher exports, a higher production and lower ending stocks. Productions actually raised by 63’000 bales and domestic mill consumption remains unchanged. Exports raised by 300’000 bales because of reduced foreign production. Ending stocks are 5.8 million bales, 200’000 lower than forecasted for November 2017 but still over double to its 2016/17 equivalent.

USDA estimates the Indian cotton harvest area for 2017/18 to be at record level of 12.3 million hectares. This increase is due to the rise of domestic price compared to other crops. Despite the increase of harvested area, production is expected to be lower (down 2% from last month) because of poor growing conditions and fore some regions, sucking pests were detected.

Burkina Faso and Pakistan cotton are also showing decrease in production efficiency due to not ideal production conditions, they show a tendency to higher producing area but lower yields.

References:

http://www.nasdaq.com/markets/cotton.aspx

https://www.pcca.com/publications/cotton-market-weekly/

https://www.agrimoney.com/news/news/us-officials-stoke-speculation-of-boost-to-chinese-cotton-imports-46874

http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/usda/current/wasde/wasde-12-12-2017.pdf

https://apps.fas.usda.gov/psdonline/circulars/production.pdf

Natural Gas Bulletin n°3                                                                        15.12.2017

As the price of the Dutch reference seems to follow an upper trend, we can observe that the Henry Hub spot price is volatile and decreasing. One of the factors explaining that is the temperature. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, temperatures in the lower 48 US states were higher than average last week resulting in less need for heat and therefore use of natural gas.

Before the explosion

NEWS

Gas explosion: 1 dead, 18 injured at major facility in Austria:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MNnSu0Dc4A

As you can see, the impact of the explosion for the supply of Natural Gas in Europe is quite important. We can observe that compared to the spot price seen above (until the 11th of december) just before the explosion the price of Natural Gas skyrocked going from 21.547 to 23.340 due to a peack in demand.

Natural Gas futures contract and forward curve:

This graph compares the Henry Hub at spot price with the Natural Gas Front Month Contract. We can see that the January 2018 US natural gas futures contract price settled at 2.98$ per MMBtu as the Henry Hub natural gas spot price was of 2.90$ per MMBtu.

The following forward curve (Henry Hub benchmark) shows the seasonability of Natural Gas. As the forward curve is in contango until February and as the weather gets warmer, the demand and therefore the price of Natural Gas (per million BTU) goes down.

NEWS: China NG imports reached a new record

China’s natural gas imports reached a new record in November as crude oil reached its second-highest ever. Total imports of Natural Gas including arrivals by pipeline and LNG shipments, hit 6.55 million tonnes says the General Administration of Customers. The reasons are obviously the start of the heating season backed by a government campaign to heat homes and fuel industrial boilers. This highest ever import score was also driven by the jump in LNG imports.

Of course, we can link this import peak with an increasing demand for natural gas in China. Although the increasing use of Natural Gas is an important objective for China as it reduces air pollution, recently some regions were told to revert to burning coal after shortages of natural gas.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-economy-trade-crude/chinas-november-natural-gas-imports-hit-record-crude-shipments-rebound-idUSKBN1E20EI

https://beta.marketrealist.com/2017/12/natural-gas-prices-fertilizer-last-week-ending-december-8

http://www.nasdaq.com/markets/natural-gas.aspx?timeframe=1m

https://ycharts.com/indicators/natural_gas_spot_price

https://www.eex.com/en/market-data/natural-gas/spot-market/daily-reference-price#!/2017/11/20

http://marketrealist.com/2017/12/natural-gas-prices-rose-affect-coal/

http://nationalpost.com/news/world/breaking-state-of-emergency-after-explosion-at-austrian-gas-hub-cuts-flow-to-other-nations

Price (Per hundreds pounds) :

“The big problem in NY currently is that Brazil farmers are not well sold and the funds have ‘front run’ the origin selling (building a net record short position in the process) pushing the market so low the Brazil farmer refuses to sell and prefers to wait instead. This ‘caps’ any rallies that happen (which can occur due to fund short covering + taking profits) as each time NY tries to climb higher it hits a wall of pent up Brazil farmer selling who have been waiting for higher levels. This creates the bear trend you can see on the graph with lower highs and lower low occurring over time. A big reason the funds are mega short is that the early prediction for the crop 18/19 in Brazil is for a record 65m bags of coffee…………. However the risk to the upside is that any adverse weather issues for the 18/19 crop (due to harvest in May/June 2018) to lower the predicted record 65m bag crop will force the short funds to cover and this can potentially be explosive to the upside. One of the main reason of such a drop in price is due to the forecast of a tremendous coffee surplus in 2018-19 season. Furthermore, growers are resisting selling in the current depressed market.” – Trader X from ECOM

The situation is that the price of coffee has be subject to speculation and as a result the price dropped which reach the point at which the farmer refuse to sell. They have an incentive to store until the price goes up again. This shortage in supply should increase the price but the speculation that goes on around the coffee drive an opposite reaction and the price still decline.

We can also take into account the practice of “front running” that have a significant impact on the prices. This practice consists in buying more, because of the knowledge of big transactions, in order to make more profit on the back of the transaction, all by influencing the prices further more. Based on this front running suspicion we can conclude that the price of coffee is submit to a change due to speculations.

Production :

According to Reuters: “The world coffee market is likely to see a larger global surplus in the 2018/19 season with production boosted by an on-year in Brazil’s biennial crop cycle, CoffeeNetwork said on Monday. The analysts said in a report that based on a “low-end” forecast of 55 million 60-kg bags for Brazil’s crop and stable production in Colombia and Vietnam there could be a global surplus of 3.7 million bags in 2018/19, up from an anticipated 0.9 million in the prior season.” According to Bloomberg: “…reticence to sell too cheaply by well-capitalized farmers in Brazil and Vietnam could upset speculators’ bets that a glut will weaken the market further. Prospects of a bigger Vietnamese crop this year, a bumper Brazilian harvest in 2018 and a resulting surplus have helped drive down prices.” In other words, forecast of a bigger Vietnamese crop, an excellent Brazilian harvest in 2018 resulting to a surplus have driven prices down.

Inventory :

“Coffee inventories in Brazil will fall 61 percent to 1.04 million bags by June 2018, according to Santos, Brazil-based exporter Comexim Ltda. In Vietnam, stockpiles fell 69 percent to 1.18 million bags at the end of last season, the lowest since 2011-12, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates.” To conclude: it’s a battle between farmers and speculators. Currently, It seems that the power is in the hands of speculators. Moreover, if selling occurs “en masse” prices could drop even further.

Future curve remains not updated since the 18th of October.

Dudu, D. (2017). News Of Coffee Surplus Knocks Prices Down Even As Farmers Balk. [online] investing.com. Available at: https://www.investing.com/analysis/news-of-coffee-surplus-knocks-prices-down-even-as-farmers-balk-200272382 [Accessed 14 Dec. 2017]. NASDAQ.com. (2017).

Commodities: Latest Coffee Price & Chart. [online] Available at: http://www.nasdaq.com/markets/coffee.aspx?timeframe=7d [Accessed 12 Dec. 2017]. Newsnow.co.uk. (2017).

NewsNow: Coffee news | Breaking News & Search 24/7. [online] Available at: http://www.newsnow.co.uk/h/Industry+Sectors/Commodities/Grains%2C+Food+&+Fibre/Coffee [Accessed 12 Dec. 2017].

Marketqview.com. (2017). Futures Forward Curve. [online] Available at: http://marketqview.com/forwardcurvechart.php?ID=15&TYPE=Price [Accessed 23 Nov. 2017].

RUBY is the new chocolate born from Swiss confectioners


Barry Callebaut, the world’s leading cocoa processor has released a new natural color of chocolate: Ruby. The ruby chocolate variety has been in development for 13 years after the discovery of a new type of cocoa bean. No new natural  colour of chocolate was discovered after Nestle’s discovery of white chocolate 80 years ago. Specific characteristics of Ruby is is its natural pink color and berry fruit  taste. The beans are grown in Ivory Coast , Ecuador and Brazil. According to Peter Boone,  to the company chief innovation and quality, the ruby beans are completely natural and not genetically modified. For all chocolate aficionados, you will have to wait sometime before you see ruby chocolate on the shopping shelves of supermarkets or chocolate shops.

Sources:

Barry Callebaut Group. (2017). Barry Callebaut reveals the fourth type in chocolate: Ruby chocolate! Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTiuGErSJdU&feature=youtu.be

CNBC. (2017, September 6). Swiss confectioners invent a new kind of chocolate for the first time in 80 years. Retrieved December 11, 2017, from https://www.cnbc.com/video/2017/09/06/swiss-confectioners-invent-a-new-kind-of-chocolate-for-the-first-time-in-80-years.html

Ellis-Petersen, H. (2017, September 6). “Ruby” becomes first new natural colour of chocolate in over 80 years. The Guardian. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/sep/06/ruby-chocolate-barry-callebaut-instagram-foodies

Why Cocoa is not processed at upstream level ?

During our last bulletin we shared an overview on how the margins were distributed among the different actors of the cocoa/chocolate value chain for the creation of one chocolate bar. This raised the question to why isn’t  more chocolate manufactured in cocoa beans producing countries. Here are some more explanation.

  • Processing machinery and infrastructures require large investments and many producing countries aren’t politically and economically stable due to high tariffs, arbitrary rules and regulation. As a result, operating a chocolate factory, could be challenging if not unfeasible for small and large business. At the farmer level, having processing machines will imply that it would only be productive during a certain period of time leaving it unused for several months. This would be too costly for small manufacturers. The price of cocoa is also a reason why farmers or small producers are reluctant to invest in processing equipment.

  • Chocolate is for the major part consumed in Europe, in the US or in Asia. It is easier and safer to transport a perishable good such as chocolate in the consuming country rather than abroad. Packaging and labelling is also easier to do in the consuming countries.

  • The different end products in the cocoa processing like cocoa liquor,cocoa powder and cocoa butter are used e.g in cosmetics ,which is a big industry in the developed countries and that is not the case for e.g big producers like Ivory Coast,Ghana etc.Beverages Industry, ice cream,Cocoa drink etc are industries that are huge in Developed countries like Europe and not necessarily in Africa .

Sources:

Ishmael F. Menkor. (2017, December 7). Liberia: Bad Roads, Unfavorable Price Hamper Cocoa Sector. Retrieved from http://allafrica.com/stories/201712070349.html

Jeff Stern. (2017, July 19). Why Isn’t More Chocolate Produced at Origin? Retrieved from http://www.cocoapodshop.com/blog/why-isnt-more-chocolate-produced-at-origin-d702eb/

Kpodo, K. (2017, November 23). West African cocoa plan needs to focus on farmers -Barry Callebaut. Retrieved December 11, 2017, from https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/23/reuters-america-west-african-cocoa-plan-needs-to-focus-on-farmers-barry-callebaut.html

Oliver Nieburg. (2017, November 15). Modern times: What’s holding back tech advances in cocoa? Retrieved from https://www.confectionerynews.com/Article/2017/11/15/Modern-times-What-s-holding-back-tech-advances-in-cocoa

London cocoa futures

Source:

ICE. (2017). LONDON COCOA FUTURES. Retrieved from https://www.theice.com/products/37089076/London-Cocoa-Futures/data

Source:

ICE. (2017). LONDON COCOA FUTURES. Retrieved from https://www.theice.com/products/37089076/London-Cocoa-Futures/data

Cocoa Futures are traded on the London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange, part of NYSE Euronext. Each contract is for 10 metric tonnes of Cocoa. Prices are quoted in pounds sterling per metric tonne.

This is for LIFFE:

Cocoa Futures contracts exist for the months of March, September and December denoted as

  • March (H),
  • September (U)
  • December (Z)

The deliverable product for the Cocoa Futures contract is Bagged Cocoa. Bagged Cocoa is the Standard Delivery Unit with nominal weight of 10 tonnes.

Large Delivery Unit of bagged cocoa with nominal weight of 100 tonnes.

There also exists the Bulk Delivery Unit with Loose cocoa of nominal weight 1000 tonnes.

Cocoa beans price

Description: Cocoa (ICCO), International Cocoa Organization daily price, average of the first three positions on the terminal markets of New York and London, nearest three future trading months.

Unit: US Dollars per Kilogram

Source: Index Mundi. (2017). Cocoa beans price index. Retrieved from http://www.indexmundi.com/commodities/?commodity=cocoa-beans&months=12

As noticed on the graph we can see an increase in the price of the cocoa beans due to the black pod disease announced to be affecting cocoa trees in Ivory coast which is the largest producer of the commodity and this is creating uncertainty in the market in terms of price as there is diminishing inventories of cocoa beans and reduced production that will be due to the black pod disease and some farmers are already abandoning the cultivation of cocoa for other crops.

Shortage on world cocoa supply

Thrillist. (2017, September 27). Thrillist – The world’s chocolate supply is in trouble. Retrieved December 14, 2017, from https://www.facebook.com/Thrillist/videos/10155711870350891/

We thank you Bob for cultivating the chocolate culture within the Geneva HEG Commodity Trading Brand.

References:

  1. Barry Callebaut Group. (2017). Barry Callebaut reveals the fourth type in chocolate: Ruby chocolate! Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTiuGErSJdU&feature=youtu.be

  2. CNBC. (2017, September 6). Swiss confectioners invent a new kind of chocolate for the first time in 80 years. Retrieved December 11, 2017, from https://www.cnbc.com/video/2017/09/06/swiss-confectioners-invent-a-new-kind-of-chocolate-for-the-first-time-in-80-years.html

  3. Ellis-Petersen, H. (2017, September 6). “Ruby” becomes first new natural colour of chocolate in over 80 years. The Guardian. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/sep/06/ruby-chocolate-barry-callebaut-instagram-foodies

  4. ICE. (2017). LONDON COCOA FUTURES. Retrieved from https://www.theice.com/products/37089076/London-Cocoa-Futures/data

  5. Index Mundi. (2017). Cocoa beans price index. Retrieved from http://www.indexmundi.com/commodities/?commodity=cocoa-beans&months=12

  6. Ishmael F. Menkor. (2017, December 7). Liberia: Bad Roads, Unfavorable Price Hamper Cocoa Sector. Retrieved from http://allafrica.com/stories/201712070349.html

  7. ISIS ALMEIDA. (2017, November 29). World chocolate binge may mean there’s less to go around. Retrieved from https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/world/99345348/.html

  8. Jeff Stern. (2017, July 19). Why Isn’t More Chocolate Produced at Origin? Retrieved from http://www.cocoapodshop.com/blog/why-isnt-more-chocolate-produced-at-origin-d702eb/

  9. Kpodo, K. (2017, November 23). West African cocoa plan needs to focus on farmers -Barry Callebaut. Retrieved December 11, 2017, from https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/23/reuters-america-west-african-cocoa-plan-needs-to-focus-on-farmers-barry-callebaut.html

  10. MONTHLY, OUTLOOK, & J. Ganes Consulting LLC. (2017). SOFTS: Fast Facts —December 2017. Retrieved from https://www.theice.com/publicdocs/futures_us/ICE_Monthly_Softs_Fast_Facts.pdf

  11. Oliver Nieburg. (2017, November 15). Modern times: What’s holding back tech advances in cocoa? Retrieved from https://www.confectionerynews.com/Article/2017/11/15/Modern-times-What-s-holding-back-tech-advances-in-cocoa

  12. Thrillist. (2017, September 27). Thrillist – The world’s chocolate supply is in trouble. Retrieved December 14, 2017, from https://www.facebook.com/Thrillist/videos/10155711870350891/