The cost of living crisis continues and this time it’s hitting the pockets of chocoholics hard.
The price of cocoa, the key ingredient in chocolate, is currently trading at its highest level in the last 46 years at $3,160 US per metric ton.
This is a 40 per cent price increase from last October.
While the price increase started last September, the cause of the cocoa hike comes down to a few different factors.
Above-average rains across Côte d'Ivoire have led to flooding in cocoa fields, resulting in a five per cent decrease in exports this season.
According to the International Cocoa Organisation’s monthly review, this is a deficit of 100,000 tons of cocoa.
The excess humidity from the floods, according to the organisation, has also 'Heightened the likelihood of a potential outbreak of the black pod disease which is detrimental to the crop.'
Approximately 75 per cent of all cocoa is produced in West Africa, Côte d'Ivoire alone is responsible for half the world's production.
Adding on to this issue, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine caused a spike in natural gas and coal prices, key ingredients in the production of fertiliser, so less fertiliser meant less yield in cocoa crops.
Cocoa farmers reportedly only get 80 cocoa beans for every 100 grams when they usually expect 120 beans per 100 grams.
Finally, with the rise of inflation, chocolate production companies have also increased their prices.
Experts predict that dark chocolate, which is made from anywhere between 50 to 90 per cent cocoa solids, is expected to experience the highest price increase.
And if that wasn’t enough, the price of sugar is also experiencing a spike, reaching an 11-year high back in April.
Sugar is another essential ingredient required to make most chocolates, so it seems chocolatiers and chocolate production companies can’t catch a break.
With an El Niño on the horizon, which will cause dry, drought-like conditions in West Africa, it looks like the issue will continue into next year's crop cycle too.
According to Swiss chocolate company Lindt’s annual report, increases in raw materials have led to 'moderate price adjustments.'
“However, the increase in sales figures confirms our assessment that our consumers will accept a reasonable price increase for their favourite chocolate and remain loyal to our brands," it read.