Lifestyle

Shortage will be costly for chocaholics

CHOCOLATE lovers be warned - there's a looming shortage and it's going to drive prices up.

Cocoa grinders are increasing their output, but a declining supply of beans from West Africa will mean the first shortage in three years.

And when supply cannot meet demand, there is only one thing that can give: price.

Earlier this year, cocoa grinders cut back output and started using reserves of butter to fill supply orders from chocolate makers.

>>More Easy Eating stories

Cocoa beans make both powder and butter - the former is used in products like biscuits and icecream whereas the latter accounts for about 20 per cent of a chocolate bar.

But reserves are now running out just as chocolate buying is accelerating and as the biggest cocoa growers' harvests are crippled by drought.

Prices are estimated to rise as much as 7.5 per cent to more than $3200 a tonne in the first half of next year, according to the mean of 17 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

New Zealand chocolate maker Whittaker's could not rule out a price increase for their bars here.

 National sales manager Matt Whittaker said: "It won't affect pricing in the short term, but as the [research] states, if demand outstrips supply, the price of cocoa will go up and ultimately chocolate prices will follow, assuming that happens."

Cadbury said it did not comment on prices and commodities.

It is estimated cocoa demand will exceed production by 101,000 tonnes this season.

However, one bank expected the ratio to be even larger, with demand coming in at 122,000 tonnes more than production.

The shortage of cocoa beans means that global output will drop 2.9 per cent to 3.85 million tonnes.

This will be led by smaller harvests in Ivory Coast, Ghana, Indonesia and Nigeria - the four nations produce 74 per cent of the world's beans - according to a prediction by investment bankers Macquarie Group.

The cocoa shortages will be among topics discussed by the International Cocoa Organisation at its first summit in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, next week attended by 41 consuming and producing nations.

Topics:  chocolate



Police confirm tragic death at Fingal Head

File photo.

Police and surf lifesavers have ended a desperate search.

Labour of love honoured in detailing coast beauty

ICING ON THE CAKE: Editor Michael DeGood at home with his book about the Tweed Coast just prior to it being published.

'If we had known the sacrifices we would have run'

'We didn't get much sleep on Thursday nights'

OPENING: Pat and Alby Benstead at the opening of the first temporary ambulance quarters in Kingscliff in 1963.

Yellow Lady of Kingscliff recalls life in first Ambo station

Local Partners

1520 nappy changes: Life with identical twin babies

The only way identical twin baby girls Layla and Miracle Pearce can be told apart is by their chubby cheeks.

Screening of anti-vaccination film 'could cost kids' lives'

The first childhood vaccinations were introduced in Australia in 1932.

Doctors damn anti-vaccination film screening

Audi launching tech offensive with $200,000 A8 next year

The Audi A8 (overseas model shown) will arrive in Australia mid-way through 2018.

Cool tech available...but Aussie legislators lagging behind.

Miss Showgirl plans to take over the world

Janaya Everingham.

Representing Lismore, this young farmer has blue ribbons in sight.

Imagine walking with massive sandbag tied to your legs

LIFE CHANGING: Hayden is 27 years old and eagerly awaiting surgery on his growth that he feels will change his life.

Hayden is hoping to undergo surgery that will change his life.

Mum’s genius splinter removal hack goes viral

Thumbs Up!     Photo Greg Miller / Gympie Times

Days of hacking away chunks of your finger with tweezers are over

6 reasons why you should be having sex in the morning

How's sex for a morning routine?

Need a morning routine? Why not have sex?