Major chocolate producers recently warned that worldwide economic growth in combination with global population growth will result in a cocoa deficit in a few years hence prices of chocolate are estimated to rise. Especially chocolate consumption in China has risen robustly in recent years. In 2010, the population of China consumed 40,000 tons of chocolate. However, this has now risen by 75 percent to 70,000 tons. Moreover, consumption of dark chocolate, which contains a higher degree of cocoa, has grown in the USA.
Last November, the Switzerland-based Barry Callebaut Group, the world’s largest chocolate producer, warned that worldwide chocolate reserves are declining and the Group believes that increased cocoa output will not be able to offset ever-growing demand from Asia. Similarly, Mars Incorporated stated recently that by the year 2020 the world may see a chocolate deficit of one million tons amid an expanding world economy and ecological pressures on cocoa firms.
In fiscal year 2013-2014, Barry Callebaut recorded a cocoa price increase from GBP 1600 per ton to GBP 2000 per ton despite relatively solid production in the main cocoa bean producing regions of West Africa. However, this price increase was also the result of drought caused by the El Nino weather phenomenon (currently West Africa is still plagued by dry weather hence curbing cocoa bean production) as well as concern about the spread of the Ebola virus.
Over 70 percent of global cocoa production originates from West Africa (Ivory Coast and Ghana). In 2014, worldwide turnover in the chocolate industry hit USD $110 billion. Indonesia is the world’s third-largest cocoa bean grower. However, cocoa production growth has been limited or even declined in recent years. According to the Indonesian Cocoa Industry Association (AIKI), the country’s cocoa bean production is expected to range between 500,000 and 700,000 tons in 2015, up from an estimated 485,000 tons in 2014. Earlier, it had been reported that the Indonesian government pledged to launch a USD $95 million cocoa revitalization program in the second quarter of 2015 in an ambitious attempt to double the nation’s cocoa output within two years. Indonesia’s Agriculture Ministry targets domestic cocoa bean output of at least one million tons per year.