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26 Mar, 2024 18:01

Cocoa prices hit historic high

The commodity broke above the $10,000-per-metric-ton mark on Tuesday for the first time ever
Cocoa prices hit historic high

The price of cocoa beans surged to an all-time high on Tuesday, amid supply constraints in West Africa, which produces about 70% of the crop globally.

Benchmark cocoa futures for May delivery on the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) in New York briefly spiked to $10,030 per metric ton in intraday trading before later easing to trade at around $9,625 per ton. It’s the first time the commodity broke above the $10,000 mark.

Prices skyrocketed more than 150% in the last three months, and are up 255% since March 2023.

Experts attribute the price spike to poor crops in West Africa as the two largest producers, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana, have been struggling for months with extreme weather changes and cocoa-pod diseases.

“As these two leading producing countries supply about two-thirds of global cocoa beans, any change in their production tends to have a significant impact on the cocoa market,” the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) warned in a recent report.

A significantly lower cocoa harvest is also expected in other cocoa-producing countries, such as Nigeria and Ghana.

Global cocoa supply is projected to fall 8% in the 2023-2024 season compared to the previous 12 months, according to data by analytics and consulting firm GlobalData.

Meanwhile, some chocolate manufacturers have already warned that rising cocoa bean prices may force them to pass on the cost to consumers.