A worker produces chocolate bars at the Benoit Nihant's chocolate factory in Awans on December 11, 2015.
/ AFP / Emmanuel DUNAND
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Just as Americans rush to load up on chocolates for Valentine's Day, the global cocoa glut is finally starting to ebb. Cocoa futures in New York have climbed almost 9 percent in 2018, making them one of the year's best-performing commodities. As signs of tighter supplies mount, hedge funds have switched to betting on an extended rally, after holding negative wagers for the past two months.This year's gains for cocoa are a stark reversal from the last two years, when futures plunged more than 40 percent amid a global glut.In the five years ending 2022, U.S. retail sales of confectionery chocolate will rise 2.2 percent to 1.4 million metric tons, fetching $20.3 billion, according to researcher Euromonitor International.For makers of specialty chocolates like Torres, higher cocoa prices are actually good news because rising revenues for farmers will allow them to produce more high-grade beans that require bigger investments.
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