a ton of cocoa now costs more than a ton of copper

Cocoa prices continue to increase on the international market. The subject takes on its full importance a few days before the Easter holidays during which chocolate is in the spotlight.



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Workers collect dry cocoa beans in front of the store of a cocoa cooperative in the village of Hermankono, Ivory Coast, November 14, 2023. (SIA KAMBOU / AFP)

A ton of cocoa, also called brown gold, is now more expensive than a ton of copper! If you have already bought the bells, eggs and other bunnies for the Easter weekend, Saturday March 30 and Sunday March 31, you have paid more than in previous years. Traditional inflation has nothing to do with it. The fault this year is in world prices which have just exceeded $10,000 per tonne of cocoa beans (9,230 euros) while it was still at $6,000 at the start of the year, the highest level since the end from the 70s. This is the base price for chocolatiers who buy their raw materials.

Supply remains well below demand. Everything that is rare is expensive. Cocoa bean production is being hit by diseases caused by recent heavy rains in West Africa. The production does not tolerate excessive humidity and lack of sunshine. Ivory Coast is the leading cocoa producing country in the world, followed by Ghana. Together, they supply almost 60% of the world’s total bean production.

No improvement expected immediately

Generally, it takes between six and ten to 12 months for the rise in cocoa prices to be reflected in the price of finished products in stores (chocolate bars, etc.). But the increase has started since last year. Some groups, like Lindt, have anticipated and already increased their prices by 10%. At the same time, Anglo-Saxon investment funds maintain this volatility in the cocoa market by speculating. Finally, new European regulations, which prohibit the import of products resulting from deforestation, will complicate the situation. This regulation will come into force next December.

We can therefore already anticipate without being mistaken: the price increase recorded this year in stores compared to Easter last year is expected to be worse for Easter 2025.

source site-28