Economy February 11, 2024 | 10:18 am

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Cocoa prices reach all-time highs

New York—Cocoa prices hit new all-time highs in London and New York on Friday, driven by supply shortages in major producing regions.

In New York, cocoa surpassed $6,000 per tonne for March delivery on Friday and reached a high of $6,030, smashing its previous all-time high of $5,379 per tonne, set in 1977.

According to data compiled by Bloomberg since 1959, this is the highest price ever recorded.

The price of cocoa for May delivery in New York, the most active price at present, was also at an all-time high.

In London, the price of cocoa, which had already reached its highest level, also set a new record high of 4,786 pounds per tonne.

“The current rally has been driven by a worse-than-expected deficit for the 2023-24 crop year,” explains Ole Hansen, analyst at Saxobank. This would be the third consecutive season with a supply deficit.

West African nations Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire are the world’s largest commodity producers.

Heavy rains in these two countries caused a problematic year for the crop. Producers are now facing new shocks due to the resurgence of the El Niño weather phenomenon, which causes droughts in some areas and floods in others.

Since the beginning of the year, the price of cocoa soared nearly 30% in London and New York, continuing an escalation that began in 2023.

“The consequences will be felt later this year and next, as cocoa costs generally take 6 to 12 months to reach consumers” of chocolate, Hansen says.

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