Increased demand for chocolate from Asia's expanding middle class, plus a turnaround in sales from big chocolate-consuming countries have seen the price of cocoa butter jump to more than $7,000 per ton from $4,000 just six months ago. It climbed 17 percent in London and 16 percent in New York this year.
Demand is not expected to slow as the holiday period approaches, so chocolate makers said that they may have to pass on increased costs to the chocoholics.
For the second year in a row, bean producers have been unable to keep up with the demand.
“The reports that we’ve seen in the U.S. show that for the first time in quite a while, the consumer data looks positive,” Kip Walk, corporate director of cocoa and sustainability at Blommer Chocolate Co., North America’s biggest processor, said.
“I’d say that seeing the rapid increase in butter ratios over the past year or so would underscore the fact that demand for chocolate products would be on the increase.”