The Worst ‘Candyflation’ Is Yet To Come As Cocoa Prices Near Record | ZeroHedge


From: zerohedge

The Worst 'Candyflation' Is Yet To Come As Cocoa Prices Near Record | ZeroHedge

Cocoa prices Wednesday hit $4,285 per ton in New York, the highest level since 1978, as the outlook of poor crop harvests across West Africa has been a major bullish factor pushing prices higher this year. There is also an increasing risk that El Nino-induced weather disturbances could cause the global cocoa market to sink into a deficit for the third year.

Bloomberg reports the world's largest chocolate makers, Hershey Co. and Nestle SA, have yet to feel the full impacts of soaring prices because cocoa is bought well in advance. This only means consumers will see a further increase in the prices of their favorite candy bars in 2024. 

"It's the most extraordinary situation I've seen in my career," said Jonathan Parkman, the head of agricultural sales at Marex Group, warning, "I don't think we've seen the worst of the situation for consumers."

According to consumer researcher Euromonitor International, chocolate prices have risen 17% in the US over the last two years. Prices are expected to continue trending higher as cocoa production in West Africa - accounting for most of the world's supply - remains extraordinarily tight. 

"The market does not seem convinced that production will recover enough to avoid a supply deficit for 2023/24," ADM Investor Services Inc. analysts wrote in a recent note. 

Luca Zaramella, chief financial officer at Oreo cookies maker Mondelez International Inc., warned last month during an investor call:

Analysts warn El Nino-induced weather disturbances could bring drier weather to top-growing regions. They say that could result in a third year of deficits. 

In June, we told readers: Fast forward to Halloween, 'candyflation' strikes: 

Also, the price of butter, which accounts for 20% of the weight of an average chocolate, has soared, according to KnowledgeCharts, a unit of Commodities Risk Analysis. The entire process, from shipping to processing, has seen increased prices over the last few years, indicating that candyflation will be sticky. 

It appears global central banks are powerless over El Nino-induced food inflation. Higher prices may be the only cure for Hershey's Kiss and Crunch bar inflation. 


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