Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report

World economy forecasted to slow to Great Recession pace

Feb 27, 2020

Latest Episodes

Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy

Bumper crop of cocoa is no sweet deal for African farmers

Annie Baxter Apr 17, 2017
Share Now on:
HTML EMBED:
COPY
An agricultural worker picks cocoa pods in the Ivory Coast village of Akati. ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images

Bumper crop of cocoa is no sweet deal for African farmers

Annie Baxter Apr 17, 2017
An agricultural worker picks cocoa pods in the Ivory Coast village of Akati. ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images
Share Now on:
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Seventy percent of cocoa comes from West Africa, mostly Ivory Coast and Ghana. The supply can swing way up or down depending on political instability and the weather there. 

“At times coca prices’ annualized volatility can be as much as 20 to 25 percent,” said James Butterfill, head of research and investments with ETF Securities. 

This year, favorable weather in Ivory Coast is contributing to a surplus, and prices have fallen steeply. That forced the government to lower the price it guarantees cocoa farmers.

Just this week, Ivory Coast and Ghana said they’ll try to tackle price volatility by coordinating how much cocoa they produce and put on the market. Vincent Smith, an agricultural economist at Montana State University, said he’s skeptical that will work.

“The ability to manage a global market on the part of two major producers is pretty difficult,” he said. 

Smith said an effort to stabilize the market by controlling supply could only work in the short term, given that cocoa farmers in other countries could ramp up their production.

It’s unlikely the cocoa price declines will show up in consumer products any time soon, according to Erin Lash, director of consumer equity research at Morningstar. She said confectioners tend to use forward purchase agreements for commodities to offset any near-term fluctuations in commodities costs. 

“It can range anywhere from three months to up to two years in advance,” she said.

If you’re a member of your local public radio station, we thank you — because your support helps those stations keep programs like Marketplace on the air.  But for Marketplace to continue to grow, we need additional investment from those who care most about what we do: superfans like you.

Your donation — as little as $5 — helps us create more content that matters to you and your community, and to reach more people where they are – whether that’s radio, podcasts or online.

When you contribute directly to Marketplace, you become a partner in that mission: someone who understands that when we all get smarter, everybody wins.