Chocolate prices likely to remain at a record high for 2024

By Bethan Grylls

- Last updated on GMT

Cocoa prices hit all-time high and set to stay there for remainder of year. Credit: Getty/fcafotodigital
Cocoa prices hit all-time high and set to stay there for remainder of year. Credit: Getty/fcafotodigital

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A report from ingredients supplier Henley Bridge has warned that cocoa price increases of 15-20% for the first half of 2024 might continue into the second half of the year.

Despite growth in global cocoa supply in 2021, unfavourable weather conditions and demand from emerging markets have led to supply deficits.

Figures reveal that raw cocoa prices have reached a record high of £4,700 per tonne, more than double the price it was in February 2023 (£1,900 per tonne).

Henley Bridge’s commercial director, Steve Calver, who authored the report, described it as unprecedented event: “These are historical highs the likes of which I’ve never seen before.”

He continued: “Factors such as global production levels, weather conditions and crop disease play significant roles in shaping price trends. For instance, lower cocoa production in major growing regions, like the Ivory Coast and Ghana, due to adverse weather conditions can contribute to tighter market conditions and influence prices.”

Meanwhile, demand for ‘real chocolate’ from emerging countries such as India and China have also contributed to increased pressure on the commodity market, the report revealed.

Historically, dark chocolate was cheaper than milk and white chocolate, but this trend has flipped, with dark now commanding the same or similar pricing.

However, Calver said we could see prices starting to fall as we move into 2025/6: “Due to the high cost of real chocolate, some markets may go back to using imitation chocolate which would, in turn, reduce demand, but that’s just pure speculation at this stage.”

From a distributor perspective, the commercial team at Henley Bridge says it’s working hard to soften the blow on its customers.

“We held off price increases until February 1, delaying the increase by one month, and are stocking up where possible to hold off further price increases. We’re also trying to give a one month notice period of any impending price increases to give customers time to react.”

Related topics Commodities

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