Future of cocoa under threat as prices skyrocket due to bean shortages

The latest price hike has been driven by news from West Africa that major cocoa plants in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana have halted or reduced processing because they cannot afford to buy beans, trading sources told media outlets.

According to Bloomberg, cocoa is more expensive than copper on the commodities market, and in the run-up to Easter, chocolate makers have already increased prices to consumers, after three years of poor cocoa harvests in West Africa, with a fourth expected.

The pursuit for beans is partly caused by news from Ghana, the world’s second-largest grower after Cote d’Ivoire, that it is set to lose access to a key funding facility as COCOBOD, the industry regulator, relies on foreign financing to pay cocoa farmers for their beans.

According to Bloomberg, “Cocoa’s advance will feed through into higher chocolate costs throughout the year.”

As ConfectioneryNews reported​, Easter eggs are more expensive due to last year’s price jump. Bloomberg said some manufacturers are curbing bar sizes or promoting varieties with other ingredients to soften the blow.

“Chocolate may be even more expensive in Easter 2025 if cocoa-tree diseases and inclement weather prolong the deficit amid high sugar prices,” Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Diana Gomes said in a note at the weekend.

Living income

The focus is now on West Africa’s upcoming mid-crop (April to September), the smaller of two annual harvests.

Jon Walker, Fairtrade International Senior Advisor for Cocoa told this publication:  “While high prices may seem like a windfall for farmers, once they eventually reach the farmgate, the underlying causes are worrying.