06 Apr 2011 15:18
* Cocoa seen exportable even after months in storage
* Some 100,000-150,000 T cocoa in I.Coast seen unhedged
* Exports could occur within fortnight of a new tax regime
* Ample mid crop expected as workers return to trees
(Adds quote, details, background, updates prices)
By David Brough and Nick Edwards
LONDON, April 6 (Reuters) - The almost half a million tonnes of cocoa that has piled up in top producer Ivory Coast, as months of sanctions halted shipments, is expected to still be fit for export despite heat and humidity, analysts said.
There have been fears that the cocoa was at risk of rotting.
Jonathan Parkman, joint head of agriculture at brokerage Marex Financial, told Reuters Insider television on Wednesday that 100,000-150,000 tonnes of cocoa was unhedged and that this could have a bigger impact on prices than the resumption of shipments.
Commodity traders routinely use futures to hedge their risk when holding physical cocoa. Increased hedging would tend to weigh on futures prices.
Parkman said cocoa futures could fall by some 5-10 percent below what he called their fair value as exports restarted.
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