Climate crisis behind surge in chocolate prices

Chocolate lovers brace for higher prices

Chocolate: Indulgent necessity. Credit: ivan_kislitsin/

The price of chocolate is set to increase as the market value of cocoa has reached an all-time high.

In March 2024, the cost of cocoa exceeded $7,000 per ton, marking a significant leap from the beginning of the year when it was priced at $4,000.

This surge is attributed to a combination of factors, including labour strikes, drought, and excessive rainfall in major cocoa-producing countries like the Ivory Coast and Ghana. These conditions have severely impacted the latest harvests.

The unstoppable cocoa rally

Remarkably, cocoa’s price trajectory has outperformed major assets and indices such as Bitcoin, Nasdaq, and the S&P 500.

Starting at $2,500 per ton in March 2023, cocoa breached the $6,000 mark in February 2024 for the first time.

Currently, with a 75 per cent appreciation so far this year, cocoa’s financial performance is drawing significant attention from commodities experts.

The driving force behind this robust growth stems from climatic adversities affecting the cocoa supply from West Africa, which accounts for three-quarters of global production.

Crucial to this supply chain is the Ivory Coast, which represents 44 per cent of world production and Ghana with 14 per cent. both countries have faced unfavourable weather conditions, directly impacting production capabilities while demand remains unchanged in Europe, the US, and beyond.

The cocoa market

Paul Joules, a commodities analyst at Rabobank, shared on CNBC that despite high prices, cocoa demand remains strong, possibly because chocolate is seen as an indulgent necessity by consumers.

Ben Laidler, global markets strategist at eToro, highlighted the direct impact on consumers: ‘Unfortunately, for chocolate lovers and families who buy Easter eggs, this will result in a significant increase in prices in stores and supermarkets.’

The El Niño factor

Concerns are growing that El Niño-induced dry weather and strong Harmattan winds will further exacerbate the situation.

This phenomenon, known for causing droughts and storms, is likely to keep cocoa prices high. As the next cocoa harvest is not due until October, with new production taking up to five years to mature, high chocolate prices seem inevitable.

In conclusion, the current cocoa market rally presents a bittersweet scenario for consumers and an intriguing opportunity for investors.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.