His play has some people up in arms. While some see it as a simple bet that cocoa prices will rise on falling supply, others say Mr. Ward has created a shortage of cocoa simply to drive up the price himself.Read the full story at The New York Times.
The German Cocoa Trade Association and others wrote an angry letter to the London exchange on which cocoa is traded, demanding that it take action against what the association characterized as a "manipulation."
The British news media has christened Mr. Ward "Chocolate Finger," a nod to the Bond villain Auric Goldfinger. And on Facebook, someone has created a "Choc Finger" page featuring Mr. Ward's face superimposed on a pig that is bellying up to the trough.
The fear is that Mr. Ward will become the go-to source until the annual cocoa harvest, which starts in October. With candy makers starting to stock up for the holiday season, they may be forced to pay him ever-higher prices -- and cocoa has already jumped 150 percent since 2008.
"The squeeze was really timed perfectly," said Eugen Weinberg, an analyst at Commerzbank in Frankfurt.
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