Jeremy Hobson: Cocoa bean exports have restarted in the Ivory Coast. Shipments were blocked earlier this year because of political unrest in the country.
And as Marketplace’s Jennifer Collins reports, the restart means a worldwide cocoa shortage could very quickly turn into a surplus.
Jennifer Collins: Ivory Coast produces about a third of the world’s cocoa. And this year, it’s been rainy and warm there.
Gary Mead: Just absolutely ideal weather conditions for west African production.
Commodities analyst Gary Mead says that’s about to produce what Willy Wonk and Co. might turn into a chocolate…
“Willy Wonka” clip: A chocolate river. That’s the most fantastic thing I’ve ever seen. Ten thousand gallons an hour.
Morningstar analyst Kathryn Young says cocoa production could be up as much as 10 percent this year. Demand, though? Where’s Augustus Gloop when you need him?
Kathryn Young: Consumption has only increased about 3 percent.
Still, Gary Mead says even if conditions are perfect for cocoa farmers next year:
Mead: Lovers of premium chocolate need to be prepared to pay progressively more.
That’s because the other ingredients in chocolate — namely milk — remain very pricey.
I’m Jennifer Collins for Marketplace.
There’s a lot happening in the world. Through it all, Marketplace is here for you.
You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible.
Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.