The amount of cocoa processed in Europe has remained flat in the first quarter of 2014 following three quarters of growth, according to the European Cocoa Association.
The Q1 EU cocoa grind, an indicator of demand for chocolate in the region, grew just 0.4% compared to the same period last year to 340,735 metric tons (MT).
Cocoa processing in Europe had made a recovery from Q2 last year after six consecutive quarters of decline, registering growth between 4-6% each quarter.
The figures were obtained from 20 cocoa bean processors including Mondelez, Barry Callebaut and Cargill.
Chocolate processing in Germany, Europe’s premier chocolate producer, grew slightly above the European norm, up 1.3%. The country accounted for almost 30% of the European cocoa grind.
The US National Confectioners Association will release grind figures for North America next Thursday. One cocoa trader said they expected the grind to unchanged or up, to a maximum of 2.5%.