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Qatar tribune


Global cocoa prices skyrocketed to hit a new record high on Thursday as traders continued to struggle for supplies, anticipating ever wider deficits this season along with growing concerns for the next.

The surge in prices is filtering through to retail shelves, with U.S. chocolate manufacturer Hershey expecting to see a further slowdown in demand for its products from cash-conscious customers after its sales volumes slid 6.6% in the fourth quarter.

The chocolate major, shares of which are down some 30% from a May 2023 peak, also said earlier that it expects the higher cocoa prices to limit its earnings growth this year.

Volumes at its rival, Cadbury maker Mondelez also fell last quarter.“Going back 47 years, almost every major price blip was followed by a massive 20%-50% price break, within one to two years. Is this situation different? YES!” said Jim Roemer, meteorologist and commodity trading advisor at Best Weather Inc.

“At least for now, a squeeze situation may well continue for another month or two,” he added, citing current damage to the cocoa crop from strong Harmattan winds in top producing region of West Africa.

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