Hot chocolate! Cocoa prices hit all-time highs amid global supply shortages

Chocolate lovers, brace yourselves for a bitter truth: cocoa prices have gone bonkers, hitting record highs as the world faces a massive shortage of the beloved bean. A combination of factors – reduced supply from the Ivory Coast, El Nino-related droughts, crop diseases, a widening global deficit, and fierce competition among buyers – has created a perfect storm, pushing cocoa prices to unprecedented levels.

"Cocoa prices have more than doubled in the past year, propelled by poor crops in top producers Ivory Coast and Ghana and processors scrambling to get cocoa beans," reports Reuters. Gerard Stapleton, a GlobalData agribusiness analyst, told Marketline, "Over the last twelve months to the third week of March, cocoa bean prices have increased by 166% and 189%, respectively, in the New York and London cocoa bean futures markets." The world price for cocoa is now over $9000.

Chocolate manufactures are planning to deal with the increased price of the main ingredient in their products by raising prices, reducing the size of their products, and using cocoa substitutes or extenders to reduce their reliance on cocoa.

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