Cocoa Prices Surge to Record Highs Ahead of Easter Holiday

On Thursday, cocoa prices advanced amid heavy rainfall and cacao diseases in West Africa as the Easter holiday approaches.

US cocoa futures for May delivery climbed 2.82% to $8,559.00 per metric ton (MT) on March 21. Moreover, industry watchers estimate a 1.37% climb to $8,152.00 per MT in the coming market session.

The sweetener already gained 6.75% this week and 31.47% from last month’s closing price of $6,510.00 per MT. In addition, the soft commodity skyrocketed by 103.98% year-to-date (YTD), with still over a week left in the first quarter.


Earlier this month, the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) forecasted a net output of 4.50 million metric tons (MMT) in the 2023/24 crop year. It indicated a contraction of 0.34 MMT from the 2022/23 season, leading to the second global deficit in a row.

Consequently, the ICCO added that the resulting increase in chocolate prices would deter consumers, causing a 4.00% slide in demand. Nonetheless, the organization stressed that the impact would be concentrated on the latter half of the year.

Lastly, commodity specialists expect an 18.00% production shrinkage in the Ivory Coast, which accounts for 40.00% of the global supply. Similarly, Ghana, which provides 15.00% of the world’s cocoa output, is expected to suffer a 19.00% dip in yield.

Easter Chocolate Prices Soar Amid a Cocoa Crisis

With chocolate makers passing the rising costs of cocoa to consumers, analysts expect confections to hit record prices this Easter. The average price of US retail chocolate jumped over 10.00% last year, three times the inflation rate.

However, critics have accused confection brands of overcompensating for the increased cost of raw materials to expand profits. Hershey’s net profit margins lifted from 15.80% in 2022 to 16.70% in 2023, and Cadbury-maker Mondelez from 8.60% to 13.80% in the same period.

According to market specialists, chocolate manufacturers do not purchase cocoa but instead use processing plants as intermediaries. Unfortunately, raw material prices have become inaccessible, forcing the processors to shut down instead of bearing the increased costs.

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