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Bad News Chocolate And Coffee Lovers: Prices Are Only Going Higher

Aaron Bry
April 13, 2024

Future prices for coffee and cocoa beans hit new highs Friday, as supply concerns continue to drive asking prices higher. New York cocoa futures have hit their highest levels since the 1960s.

What's Going On? Supply concerns, including extreme weather conditions brought by the El Nino storm have hindered production of both cocoa and coffee beans in regions like Brazil, according to a recent report from Bloomberg.

Aging trees in Vietnam and Africa are also limiting supply, and because coffee and cocoa are staples in many diets around the world, demand typically remains constant.

Read Also: Hershey ‘Shrinkflation’: Chocolate Makers’ Cost Chaos As Cocoa Reaches $10,000 Per Metric Ton

When demand stays steady and supply gets limited, prices usually go up. Hershey Co (NYSE:HS) addressed the rising prices of cocoa earlier this month, and said it is working with distributors in order to keep prices of chocolate bars from going up too much.

But, higher input costs for the company could hurt earnings, and the stock is down more than 5% in the last month. 

Starbucks Corp (NASDAQ:SBUX) and other coffee companies appear to be feeling the pressure of higher operating costs as well. Like Hershey, Starbucks stock is lagging the overall market, and is trading down more than 7% in the last month.

It's not just cocoa and coffee pushing higher. Other commodities, like copper and gold, are also making new highs.

Are All Beans Equal? Robusta coffee is a cheaper type of coffee typically used in instant drinks. Bad weather in Vietnam is causing concerns about the production of robusta. Futures for robusta coffee shot up more than 1.5% to its highest point since 2008, according to Bloomberg. 

Now Read: Agriculture Commodities Rise To 9-Year Highs, Cocoa Prices Skyrocket: Chocolate Lovers Brace For Hyperinflation

Image generated using artificial intelligence via Midjourney.

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