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Chocolate lovers all over the world are in for some bad news: The price of wholesale coca beans have risen to the highest level recorded in more than a decade.

Manufacturers are forecasting that the price will probably stay that high until 2024.

The steep increase is blamed on the production crisis in West Africa. The region supplies two-thirds of the world’s cocoa bean harvest, but has recently been exposed to heavy rains and a rot-causing disease that have affected the crops.

News24 reports that the world’s biggest cocoa producer Ivory Coast is expected to see its upcoming harvest shrink by nearly a fifth from last year, and has suspended sales that bind farmers to delivering goods at specified times in the future.

Based on factories struggling to access enough volumes to keep up with demand have led to the top chocolate manufacturers warning that price increases are a reality.

The end of the low crop yield is not yet in sight as an El Nino weather pattern indicates that output could be affected even more negatively.

Image credit: Arabian Business

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