LONDON –The International Cocoa Organization is to run another edition of its International Seminar on Terminal Markets and Econometric Modelling of the Cocoa Market, this time at the Ivotel, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, 24 – 28 February 2014, the ICCO announced on January 9th.
Organized in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture of Côte d’Ivoire and the Conseil du Café-Cacao, the week-long Seminar once again aims to give policy makers and other stakeholders in the cocoa sector, particularly from the African region, an improved understanding of the functioning of cocoa terminal markets and the enhanced ability to use econometric models to forecast market developments.
Terminal markets, also called futures markets, play a vital role in the world cocoa economy. They allow those in the trade and industry to manage their price risk, provide valuable information on storage decisions, and collect and disseminate information on world prices.
In addition to examining in detail the functioning of these markets and recent regulatory changes, the participants will review, among other subjects, the impact of speculative trading on cocoa futures prices and volatility, and price transmission between the futures markets and the physical markets at origin.
Because of the specific nature of cocoa growing, investment / disinvestment decisions in cocoa production capacity takes several years to show their full impact.
The lack of adequate forecasting and / or the capacity to conduct it has been a major factor leading the cocoa sector to experience periods of boom and bust, with cocoa prices swinging between less than US$1,000 per tonne in the year 2000 to over US$18,000 in the year 1977 (in 2012 price terms).
The techniques involved in econometric modelling can be used to forecast market development and to help stakeholders, from cocoa and chocolate companies’ market analysts to policy makers, to take informed decisions regarding investment in the cocoa business and thereby, optimize their rate of returns.
The two modules of the Seminar are scheduled to run back-to-back throughout the five days. The module on terminal markets is appropriate for those with an economic or financial background.
Meanwhile, quantitative economists, econometricians and statisticians make up the target group for the module on econometric modelling. However, parties with the relevant background or knowledge can participate in either or both modules.
ICCO staff and international experts with an in-depth knowledge of the subjects will deliver the Seminar training.
The Seminar follows up on a number of studies on cocoa price determination and the functioning of the cocoa markets published by the Organization’s staff in recent years, and the ICCO also has built a sophisticated econometric model on the world cocoa economy and publishes regular forecasts on cocoa supply and demand based on it.
Both module topics already have been the subject of well received Seminars held at the ICCO headquarters in London, and, in 2013, in Guayaquil, Ecuador.
The Seminar will be held in Côte d’Ivoire’s commercial capital and cocoa port of Abidjan, at the kind invitation of the Ivorian Government.