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LONDON: London cocoa futures on ICE hit their highest since the 1970s on Wednesday, scaling the landmark peak for the second time this week amid a widening deficit this season and concerns about another shortfall nextseason.

September London cocoa was up 1.3% to 2,572 pounds per metric tonne at 1151 GMT, having hit its highest since 1977 at 2,573.

The premium for near-dated cocoa futures versus those further out is widening again indicating tight supplies, strong demand or both.

The signal, amongst others, is prompting speculators to double down on their bets for future price rises, exacerbating the cocoa rally, dealers said. They added, however, that cocoa supply is genuinely tight. The market is set to record a second consecutive deficit this season, and could record a third one next season if the El Nino weather event strengthens.

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