Mystery Investor Buys Every Cocoa Bean in Europe
Who's hoarding all that cocoa, and why?
By Jane Yager, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 19, 2010 3:46 AM CDT
Updated Jul 19, 2010 5:30 AM CDT
Farmers dry cacao beans in Peru. Weak harvests have raised the price of cocoa worldwide, and the mystery investor has now pushed it even higher.   (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)

(Newser) – The supply of cocoa beans sitting in warehouses across Europe could fill more than 5 Titanics, and as of last week it all belongs to one mysterious figure. An anonymous investor sparked intrigue last week when he, she, or they bought 241,000 tons of cocoa—essentially, every cocoa bean in Europe. The massive deal rocked the global cocoa market, sending the bean to its highest price since 1977, the Telegraph reports.

Analysts said the buy doesn't look like the work of a chocolate company. More likely, a group of investors is cornering the market to force the price of cocoa higher. After a series of bad harvests and recent flooding in West African nations where the crop is grown—plus growing demand for chocolate from China and India—prices were already high. But cornering the market doesn't explain one curious detail of the deal: The investor took delivery of the actual beans rather than just buying futures, as is typical in commodity trades.

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Showing 3 of 47 comments
Jul 20, 2010 5:38 PM CDT
Willy Wonka?
Jul 20, 2010 5:03 PM CDT
this seems its just a rich man's joke.... 2 buy all the beans in europe.... maybe hes trying to break a world record.... the rich keep getting richer... the poor keep getting poorer
Jul 20, 2010 9:59 AM CDT
Great! Now they are going to start dicking with the chocolate to make a few more bucks!!! When is the greed roller coaster going to run off it's track. Hopefully before life as we know it ends. Who had the conscience to sell their cocoa beans to this person, I guess everyone has their price. Look at Hershey's, they rather make more of a profit by moving all of their manufacturing to Mexico. Too bad Hershey, there are more chocolate makers making their mark in the states and produced in the states. Soon Hershey's will not have the shelf space it used to have at the supermarket. I for one do not buy it, not as long as they keep their headquarters here where they can enjoy the good life while paying peanuts to their workers in Mexico.