What Was the Coffee, Sugar and Cocoa Exchange?

The Coffee, Sugar and Cocoa Exchange (CS&CE) was a commodities exchange established in September 1979 to facilitate commodity futures trading. The exchange had its roots in the Coffee Exchange, which was established in New York City in 1882. The Coffee Exchange added trading in sugar in 1914 and merged with the Cocoa Exchange in 1979. 

The Coffee, Sugar and Cocoa Exchange merged with New York Cotton Exchange in June 2004, with the combined entity then known as the New York Board of Trade (NYBOT). The merged entity was subsequently bought by the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) in 2007; as of 2020, it is known as ICE Futures U.S. Both futures and options are actively traded there.

Key Takeaways

  • The Coffee, Sugar, and Cocoa Exchange (CS&CE) was a New-York based commodities futures exchange established in 1979, but with its roots dating back to the 19th century.
  • The CS&CE subsequently underwent several mergers, and is not a part of the Intercontinental Exchange's ICE Futures division.
  • The CS&CE is famous for its location being used in the hit 1980s comedy "Trading Places".

Understanding Coffee, Sugar and Cocoa Exchange

The Coffee Exchange of the City of New York was established so importers could protect themselves against changes in the price of Brazilian Arabica coffee. Its establishment in 1882 followed the so-called "coffee crash" of 1881, in which several companies tried unsuccessfully to corner the market on coffee.

The development of beet sugar in Germany in the late 19th century lessened Europe's dependence on sugar cane production from the Americas and sharply increased consumption. But the outbreak of World War I in 1914 disrupted the supply of sugar in Europe and closed the related financial markets where the price was hedged. This led to the beginning of sugar trade on the Coffee Exchange that year.

The New York Cocoa Exchange was established in 1925 and was the world's first cocoa futures market. Its beginnings followed the rapid growth in cocoa and chocolate consumption in the early 20th century. The exchange merged with the New York Coffee & Sugar Exchange in 1979 to form the Coffee, Sugar, and Cocoa Exchange. The CS&CE merged with the New York Cotton Exchange in June 2004 to form the New York Board of Trade (NYBOT). ICE bought NYBOT in 2007.

Special Considerations

The "open outcry" system of commodities trading, which featured traders yelling across a crowded room, was replaced by fully electronic trading as of Oct. 22, 2012. The CS&CE exchange and its trading floor were featured in the popular 1983 movie "Trading Places," which starred Dan Ackroyd and Eddie Murphy.

The Intercontinental Exchange

The Intercontinental Exchange, known as ICE, began in 2000 as an electronic platform for trading energy futures and options. It owns stock, commodities, futures and options exchanges in the United States, Europe, Canada, and Singapore. ICE bought the New York Stock Exchange in 2012 for $8.2 billion. The ICE now holds on to and controls the remnants of the CS&CE.