Climate change is a serious threat to the future of cocoa because the West African nations that lead production of the soft commodity will see their average temperature rise two degrees Celsius in less than 40 years, according to an agricultural nonprofit.
The International Center for Tropical Agriculture released a study late last month stating the Ivory Coast and Ghana, the top and second-largest producer of the cocoa bean, are among the nations that will become too hot. Damages to the nations' crops may be discerned as early as 2030, by when the temperature will rise 1 degree Celsius.
"Already we're seeing the effects of rising temperatures on cocoa crops currently produced in marginal areas, and with climate change these areas are certain to spread," said Dr. Peter Laderach, lead author of the report for the Colombia-based nonprofit. "At a time when global demand for chocolate is rising fast, particularly in China, there is already upward pressure on prices. It's not inconceivable that this, combined with the impact of climate change, could cause chocolate prices to increase sharply."
At noon on Friday, cocoa futures gained 1.9 percent, a $50 increase to $2,680 per metric ton.
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