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Germany: Ahead of Easter, cocoa prices hit 20-year high

March 26, 2024

Cocoa bean import prices surged by over 70% in January compared to the previous year, which could affect chocolate prices during Easter.

Cocoa beans
Germany's consumers may have to dig deeper into their pockets for this year's Easter chocolateImage: Hans Blossey/IMAGO

Import prices for cocoa beans have recently surged in Germany, the sharpest increase in the last 20 years, the Federal Statistical Office reported on Tuesday.

The price increased by 73.4% in January 2024 compared to the previous year, which is expected to be reflected in the consumer price of chocolate as well.

In March, the Swiss chocolatier Lindt & Sprüngli warned about the rise in chocolate prices. The company said earlier this year that the increasing import prices for cocoa beans will "result in further price increases in 2024 and 2025, provided cocoa prices remain at the current level."

What is the reason for the rapid price increase?

One of the reasons for the noticeable rise are cocoa shortages on the world market as a result of failed harvests, particularly in West Africa.

Last year, 8% fewer cocoa beans were imported into Germany compared to the year before. Germany got most of its cocoa from the Ivory Coast in 2023.

The last comparable price increase was in October 2002, when the costs of cocoa increased by nearly 88%.

Compared to February 2023, chocolate producer prices rose by 8.8% in the same month this year, which the statistical office described as "above average."

Ivory Coast: Taking cocoa production into their own hands

as/wmr (dpa, AFP)