Cocoa Prices Reached New Heights at USD10,000 per ton

Euronews reports that cocoa prices briefly surged to all-time highs on Tuesday, touching over USD10,000 per ton, before settling back at $9,622 per ton on Wednesday morning, following disappointing harvests in key cocoa-producing countries such as Ghana and Ivory Coast. Cameroon, another cocoa-producing nation, has also been seeing much of the same conditions.

In the past year, cocoa prices have jumped about 231%.

Cocoa is widely used in a number of chocolate products and confectioneries, with by-products such as cocoa nibs, cocoa butter, cocoa pod husks and pulp also being used. Due to chocolate being by far the most common cocoa product, the rising cocoa prices have led to more worries about higher chocolate prices, as well as a chocolate shortage.

The bad harvests are mainly due to the weather phenomenon El Nino, which caused unseasonably heavy rainfall in December last year, resulting in black pod disease widely damaging crops. A combination of climate change and the continuation of El Nino also led to extreme heat in the following months, further disrupting harvests.

Several cocoa plants in Ghana and Ivory Coast have reportedly decreased or stopped cocoa processing activities due to the beans becoming too expensive to procure. Furthermore, the Ivory Coast cocoa regulator has also revealed that it expects the country’s mid-crop, starting in April to drop approximately 33% to about 400,000 metric tons. If so, this would be quite a step down from last year’s 600,000 metric tons. Similarly, Ghana has also announced that its cocoa production forecast is now expected to be about 650,000 tons, down from 850,000 tons for this year.

 

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