London — The world just can’t get enough chocolate. With "tremendous" demand in emerging markets looking set to continue this season, the world’s third-largest cocoa processor is projecting a sharply smaller global surplus. Excess cocoa supplies, which reached a record last season, will probably drop to about 50,000 tonnes, says Gerry Manley, head of cocoa at Olam International. Demand has picked up in Asia particularly, where countries, including the Philippines, Indonesia, India and China, are consuming more cocoa powder used in products such as biscuits and ice-cream, Manley says. While West African growers may reap a second year of bumper crops, top producer Ivory Coast is unlikely to repeat last season’s record harvest. "We are very positive on demand," Manley says. "We are seeing good demand for cocoa powder across the world, but mainly emerging markets are in a leading position there." Benchmark cocoa futures traded in London tumbled 23% last year, the biggest decline since 2...

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