ICE Cocoa Futures & Options Trading

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ICE Cocoa Futures & Options Trading

Due to Cocoa's seasonal demand cycles and concentrated production sources - limited to just eight countries serving global demand - the cocoa market is subject to a high degree of volatility, presenting hedging and trading opportunities for cocoa traders around the world.

The cocoa tree is strictly a tropical plant, thriving only in hot, rainy climates with cultivation generally confined to areas not more than 20 degrees north or south of the equator. The tree takes four or five years after planting to yield cocoa beans, and from eight to ten years to achieve maximum production. The fruit of the cocoa tree appears as pods primarily on the trees trunk and lower main branches. When ripe, these pods are cut down and opened, and the beans are removed, fermented and dried.

The cocoa butter extracted from the bean is used in a number of products, ranging from cosmetic to pharmaceuticals, but its main use is in the manufacture of chocolate candy.

The Ivory Coast is the world's leading cocoa producing nation. Ghana and Indonesia rank next among major world producers, followed by Brazil, Nigeria and Malaysia.

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