Cocoa Prices Soar to 12-Year High

Cocoa, the essential raw material for chocolate-making, has witnessed an unprecedented surge in prices, reaching their highest levels in over 12 years. This comes just weeks after a 46-year high in London, as traders and chocolate producers grapple with constrained supplies. The benchmark cocoa contract at the Intercontinental Exchange in New York peaked at $3,429 per metric tonne, a figure not seen since March 2011, ultimately closing at $3,407, signifying a substantial 1.4% increase.

The surge in cocoa prices can be attributed to a multitude of factors, with a significant contributor being a decrease in production in Western Africa. This region is a crucial supplier of raw cocoa to chocolate manufacturers worldwide. Coupled with the looming threat of adverse weather patterns, particularly in Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, and Cameroon, analysts are expressing concern over potential supply disruptions.

TINGO MARIA, PERU - JUNE 22: A view of the cocoa growers from Naranjillo cooperative in rainforest nearby Tingo Maria in Peru, 2011

The development of the El Nino pattern has raised apprehensions among experts, as it historically results in weaker cocoa production. With forecasters predicting a possibly strong El Nino, the 2023/24 mid-crop and the 2024/25 main crop in African countries may be adversely affected. As a result, traders and stakeholders in the cocoa industry are bracing for potential challenges in the coming months.

The situation in Ivory Coast, the leading cocoa grower, further compounds the issue. Exporters estimate that the amount of cocoa arriving at ports for export is down by 4% compared to the previous year, indicating a decline in production.

A farmer on a cocoa plantation harvests. Generative AI

In the wake of these developments, the London cocoa futures market has also experienced an upswing, settling at 2,532 pounds per metric tonne, marking a 0.7% increase.

While cocoa remains in the spotlight, other commodities are not immune to market fluctuations. Raw sugar has settled at 23.86 cents per pound, still trading within a narrow range and below the peak of 27 cents witnessed in late April. Arabica coffee recorded a modest 0.3% rise, reaching $1.563 per pound, while robusta coffee closed at $2,532 per metric tonne, experiencing a marginal 0.8% decrease.

The surging cocoa prices and their potential implications for chocolate production have raised concerns among chocolate makers and consumers alike. As the industry navigates these challenging circumstances, stakeholders will closely monitor weather patterns and production levels in Western Africa, while also keeping an eye on global commodity markets for any potential shifts in the future.

African farmer looks satisfied at his cocoa beans from the plants of his plantation

In a delightful turn of events for cocoa farmers, the price of cocoa, the prized raw material for chocolate-making, has surged to its highest levels in over 12 years. This surge comes as welcome news for the hardworking farmers, who have long toiled to cultivate and harvest cocoa beans. Their dedication and efforts are now being richly rewarded as cocoa prices continue to climb.


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