Cocoa Continues Its Run, Worth More than Copper

The soaring price of cocoa has reached $10,000 per ton on the New York futures market on March 26, surpassing the price of copper, which was quoted at $8,800, according to Italian economic newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore. The price that was defined as “crazy” has already ended 2023 with a 70% increase, but in the first months of 2024 has literally exploded to the point where it became better than the best-performing stocks on the market, such as Bitcoin and the king of chips Nvidia. Very disappointing harvests by West Africa’s major producers are affecting the current situation, with the approaching Easter holiday period, the peak period for chocolate consumption.

“The supply situation in West Africa remains extremely tight ahead of the start of the interim harvest next week, and this continues to support cocoa prices,” Bloomberg’s Hightower Report said. The regulator in Côte d’Ivoire, the largest producer, is also predicting that the next crop, the smaller of the two annual harvests, will be poor.

Riccardo Illy, president of Polo del Gusto, the Italian company whose parent company makes chocolate, explained to Italian news agency ANSA the reasons for the increase: “The sum of natural, economic, and financial factors.” There’s drought, disease affecting the plants, and “a very long period of raw materials at a low cost of $2500 per ton, a quarter of today’s price, which prevented growers from renewing plantations. Like grapevines, cocoa plants decline in productivity over time and need to be replaced, which has not been done.” Finally, investment funds will start speculating that they “caused the crash.”