Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Soaring Chocolate Prices

NYT  reports:
Because of poor yields lately in producer countries like Ivory Coast, and a trend toward chocolate with a higher cocoa content, the global supply of cocoa has not kept up with demand. Chocolate prices in some markets are 40 percent or more higher than this time last year[...]Worldwide, though, analysts say the supply of chocolate cannot keep pace with people’s appetite, because of the cocoa shortage. Betting that prices will continue to rise, investors have been flocking to cocoa futures.

“Production isn’t rising, at least not as quickly as demand, so that’s a recipe for higher prices,” said Michaela Kuhl, an analyst at Commerzbank in Frankfurt. The market imbalance has driven cocoa prices up by 40 percent since the lows hit in the spring, she noted.

While there are more factors in chocolate’s price than just cocoa, a shift in tastes toward dark chocolate is helping drive the cost increase. According to the International Cocoa Organization, a trade group, cocoa makes up about one-tenth of the average chocolate bar. But dark chocolate is increasingly popular, and some contains more than 80 percent cocoa.

Chocolate prices in the United States, for example, are on track to rise 45 percent from 2012, to about $5.75 a pound, according to a recent report from Euromonitor International, a market research firm.
Note, this for the most part is not the result of Bernanke money printing, but a decrease in supply and an increase in demand, however, a general overall trend by consumers to lower cash balances will mean even higher prices for chocolate in 2014. Store up on your chocolate bars now---the healthy ones, 70% cocoa plus.

1 comment:

  1. Where's Jerry Wolfgang to tell us unwashed toothless rubes that the price of chocolate isn't really going up, but all price increases are just figments of our paranoid delusions?

    School us, Jerry. Give us the Gospel according to Keynes. Preach it, Brother Jerry! Let us bask in your awesome wisdom.