The Ebola crisis in West Africa has helped push cocoa prices up by 10 per cent since August to more than £1,000 per tonne.
Fear of the deadly virus outbreak spreading to the cocoa-producing countries of Ivory Coast and Ghana has combined with increased demand from Asia to raise the price, according to Mintec.
The price has risen despite an increase in this year’s predicted crop in those countries, where output has been revised upwards to 4.35 million tonnes.
“Cocoa powder prices have risen recently over fears that the Ebola outbreak in West Africa will spread to the major cocoa bean producing countries of Ivory Coast and Ghana and cause widespread disruption,” said Mintec.
“Despite an increase in output, cocoa bean prices continue to rise, driven mainly by increasing demand and consumption in Asia as chocolate companies expand their processing capacity in the Asia-Pacific region.”
In August the price of cocoa hit a six-year low of just over £900 a tonne.
So far the Ebola crisis has killed around 4,500 people, with most of the deaths in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.