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Chocolate and bonbon prices to skyrocket

Published on 16/01/2008

16 January 2008

BRUSSELS – Chocolate and bonbons will become much more expensive in the coming year and quality could become poorer, according to insiders in the chocolate market in Belgium and Switzerland, the leading chocolate producers in Europe.

The reasons behind this are the increasing demand from China and the poorer cocoa quality because of unrest in the largest production country, Ivory Coast. The cocoa plantations in Malaysia have largely been replaced by more lucrative palm oil plantations for bio-fuel.

Top Belgian chocolatier Galler announced a 10-percent increase in prices on Tuesday. "In the long term we are heading for scarcity and even higher prices," Justine Galler said in Het Laatste Nieuws.

CEO Patrick de Maeseneire of Swiss company Barry-Callebaut predicts increases of 12 to 15 percent this month. It is not that easy to step up cocoa bean production, he warned. "Planting more beans and harvesting good quality cocoa takes five to seven years."

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2008]

Subject: Swiss news, Belgian news