Armajaro On Cocoa Binge

Jul 19 2010 | 1:32pm ET

Armajaro Asset Management probably isn’t going into the chocolate business, but it could after buying up nearly all of the available stocks of cocoa beans.

The London-based commodities firm took possession of more than 240,000 metric tons of the good stuff, worth as much as $1 billion, on Friday, according to public reports. It was the second-largest cocoa delivery ever, as was 20 times as large as the previous delivery, representing nearly all of the cocoa backing futures contracts on the LIFFE exchange and about 7% of annual production.

Armajaro is certainly no stranger to the cocoa business. Firm co-founder Anthony Ward is nicknamed “Choc Finger” in the British press, he’s long been betting on two of the world’s little addictions, coffee and chocolate, and is a former chairman of the European Cocoa Association.

The hedge fund now owns enough Cocoa to make more than 5 billion chocolate bars, fueling fears of a shortage in September.

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