Prepare for a Christmas treat shortage

  • fatweb
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  • October 16, 2023
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Drought and insect problems overseas mean peanut butter and hazelnut products could be pricier and rarer by December. Turkey produces 70 percent of the world’s hazelnuts and has experienced drought and crop damage thanks to insects since May, impacting the main growing season.

Per stock market news site, The Street, chocolate production has also been impacted recently by inflation and weather events.

The site says, “Ivory Coast, Ghana, Cameroon and Nigeria account for nearly 75% of the world’s cocoa bean harvest. Right now, El Niño is threatening western African crops, which could create higher prices come 2024.

“The cocoa market has experienced a remarkable surge in prices… this season marks the second consecutive deficit, with cocoa ending stocks expected to dwindle to unusually low levels,” said S&P Global Commodity Insights’ Principal Research Analyst Sergey Chetvertakov to CNBC. “I believe that consumers should brace themselves for the likelihood of higher chocolate prices,” Chetvertakov said.”

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Global trade publication The Grocer has warned readers that the shortage and price increases could become a problem for the big hazelnut players such as Ferrero, meaning hazelnuts treats will be more expensive and harder to find.

Per The Grocer, “The Turkish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry pegged the 2023/24 crop size at 718,000 tones earlier this year, which would be a reduction of around 13% compared to last year. However, traders have pointed to even smaller figures – as low as 620,000 to 650,000 tonnes.”

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Food marketing experts at Mintec have already noted data that shows the price of hazelnuts has already increased more than 40 percent in two months to US$780 (NZ$1290) per 100 kilograms.

Thanks to peanut shortages in Argentina as well, they too will be shorter supply, driving up prices. The reduced yields and production, with exports decreasing and prices increasing, is owed to unfavourable climate conditions in the South American nation.

Per Mintec, “Due to the shortfall, an increasing number of buyers and traders are looking to source runner-type peanuts from the US. The question at this stage is if other origins will have enough kernels to satisfy the EU’s quality requirements and make up for the decline in availability from Argentina.”

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