Back to Specialty Food News

Cocoa Prices Soar

Cocoa bean on tree

Cocoa prices hit a record today as persistent supply constraints push up prices, according to CNBC. Futures for May delivery were up 3.9 percent to $10,030 per metric ton, the first time the commodity has exceeded $10,000.

The report cites difficult weather conditions in West Africa in addition to persistent disease that has affected production. The region in question produces 70 percent of the world’s supply of cocoa. In particular, the two largest producers have been hit by heavy rain, dry heat, and disease: the Ivory Coast and Ghana.

According to a report from the International Cocoa Organization, in addition to the weather and black pod disease, poor road conditions also made the commodity difficult to bring to port for export.

“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 report said.

As a result, chocolate makers, including Hershey and Cadbury, have said they will hike prices to cover the increased costs, according to Reuters. According to the report, upcoming Easter sales of candy in the U.S. are key for chocolate brands.

“People will buy during the holidays, but they will cut out impulse buying" throughout the year, said David Branch, a manager focusing on cocoa at Wells Fargo Agri-Food Institute.