Eye-watering cocoa prices put a damper on Valentine’s Day chocolate

The cost of cocoa has steadily increased over the past two years and has roughly doubled since the beginning of 2024. Last week, during Amsterdam Cocoa Week​, where the industry met to discuss farmer income and other sustainability issues, it reached a record 4,670 pounds a metric ton on the London ICE futures exchange on Thursday (8 February). At the time of writing latest price for cocoa on ICE New York was: $5,715.33.

In New York, the benchmark ICE cocoa futures hit a new all-time high of $5,874 a ton, closing up 7.3% at $5,805, having risen about 90% since the start of last year, Reuters reported.

Bloomberg has also reported that there’s no sign of the price surge easing soon due to a supply shortage caused by climate change in the main cocoa-growing countries in West Africa (primarily Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana). A recent Reuters cocoa poll forecasted a global deficit of 375,000 tons in the 2023-24 season, more than double the average view in the previous survey in August, indicating a third successive supply deficit for the market.

Extreme weather

According to Everstream Analytics, global cocoa prices are at a 40-50-year high due to extreme weather, disease, and geopolitical issues, hitting Valentine’s Day sales as consumers worldwide feel the pinch.

Everstream’s Chief Meteorologist, Jon Davis, told this publication global cocoa prices are at a 40-50-year high due to extreme weather, disease, and geopolitical issues. “With Valentine’s Day, this issue is set to be felt by people worldwide on how extreme weather in West Africa is impacting the cocoa supply.”