Not ‘egg-cellent’ news – consumers face higher chocolate prices heading into Easter

According to Rabobank data, Australian consumers face higher chocolate prices heading into Easter as global cocoa prices soar.

The global agribusiness banking specialist says data analysis shows Australian retail chocolate prices are up 8.8 per cent on the previous year.

This comes as the global price of cocoa, a key ingredient in chocolate, has skyrocketed more than 200 percent (in Australian dollar terms) in the same period due to international supply shortages.

RaboResearch associate analyst Pia Piggott says the world is into its third season of a “global deficit” of cocoa, as diminishing supply struggles to keep up with firm demand.

Ms Piggott says a range of issues has reduced cocoa production in the Ivory Coast and Ghana, in West Africa, where 60 per cent of the world’s cocoa beans are grown.

“There is no single root catalyst for this deficit. It is a combination of various agricultural and other factors, including adverse weather conditions, ageing trees and disease in crops,” she said.

“There are other challenges for growers, including increasing sustainability regulations and requirements – including in import markets – which also limit supply growth. These include European Union deforestation regulations, which limit area expansion and increase traceability requirements.”

Ms Piggott said retail prices for chocolate have risen over the past two years, broadly in line with the overall rise in food price inflation.

“However, while price inflation has now receded in many food categories, we are continuing to see it remain high for chocolate,” she said.

Ms Piggott said many chocolate products had experienced price rises or ‘shrinkflation’ – where prices remained stable, but the size of products decreased.

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