close up photography of cocoa powder
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As a result of West African crops being harmed by dry weather, cocoa prices worldwide have reached a new record.

On Thursday, the price of cocoa ton on the fresh York commodities exchange hit a fresh record high of $5,874 (£4,655).

Since the beginning of the year, the price of the essential ingredient for manufacturing chocolate has now nearly doubled.Rising cocoa costs are already affecting consumers and placing pressure on large chocolate producers.Hershey, one of the largest chocolate producers in the world, issued a warning on Thursday, stating that “historic cocoa prices are expected to limit earnings growth this year.”

Michele Buck, the company’s CEO, did not completely rule out raising fees for clients.In a conference call with analysts, she stated, “We can’t talk about future pricing,” but added, “Given where cocoa prices are, we will be using every tool in our toolbox, including pricing, as a way to manage the business.”Hershey released its financial results for the three months ended December 31 along with the remarks. According to the data, sales decreased by 6.6% as consumers, who were negatively impacted by inflation, spent less on candy.The firm that owns the Cadbury brand, Mondelez, stated last month that one of the issues it would confront in the coming year was the rising cost of ingredients.Luca Zaramella, the company’s chief financial officer, reported “significant increases in both cocoa and sugar”.A UK consumer group called Which? claimed in December that the cost of certain holiday chocolate boxes had increased by at least 50% in the previous year.Although the general rate of inflation for food and drink in UK supermarkets decreased to 8.3% in November, the rate of increase for chocolate prices was much higher at 15.3%.The majority of the world’s supply of cocoa is produced in West Africa, but bad harvests there have drove up prices.The two countries that produce the most cocoa beans worldwide, Ghana and Ivory Coast, have been experiencing drier weather due to the El Niño weather phenomena.Harvests may potentially be impacted by climate change-related changes in rainfall patterns and hotter temperatures.Price Futures Group analyst Jack Scoville stated, “Traders are concerned about another low production year, and these feelings have been enhanced by El Niño that is threatening West Africa crops with hot and dry weather.”

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