UPDATE 2-North America Q2 cocoa grind up 12 pct, above forecasts
* North American Q2 cocoa grind jumps nearly 12 pct
* Higher cocoa grind marks third straight firm quarter
* Cocoa butter ratio seen rising with demand
By Marcy Nicholson
NEW YORK, July 18 (Reuters) - North American cocoa grindings jumped almost 12 percent in the second quarter, the biggest rise in three years and more than expected, as chocolate makers continued to replenish stocks and processed beans to meet rising overseas demand, dealers said.
Grindings, an indicator of demand for chocolate, reached 126,044 tonnes in the three months to June, up a whopping 11.77 percent from the second quarter of 2012, data from the National Confectioners Association (NCA) showed on Thursday.
This was the biggest quarterly jump since grindings surged 12.07 percent to 117,657 tonnes in the second quarter of 2010. The latest data was more than double what many market participants had expected.
Coming after Asia and Europe, two larger regions to report numbers, showed growth earlier this week, Thursday's data will reinforce optimism that the global cocoa market is recovering from slow demand growth and is likely to support prices on Friday, dealers said.
"Consumption is up, without a doubt, and restocking of semi-finished products is up," said one U.S. veteran cocoa dealer. Continued...