About that Deficit …

Usually I’m happy to have Ruth Reichl’s weekly Gourmet newsletter show up in my in-box, but not this week. This week she brought news that the global cocoa deficit is increasing. Is it time to begin stockpiling cocoa yet?

According to an article on the Food Navigator website the International Cocoa Organisation says that bad weather during the 2006-07 growing season means that cocoa shortfalls are now 55 percent larger than expected, about 267,000 tons instead of about 172,000 tons. (The article refers to metric tonnes, which we have converted into U.S., or “short,” tons for our American readers.)

The article goes on to explain that global demand for cocoa is growing at a rate of 3.8 percent a year (that seems rather low). “This demand,” reporter Charlotte Eyre writes, “combined with some manufacturers anxiously stocking up on cocoa,” has caused average prices to climb about 12 percent.

The high price of bread is often cited as one of the catalysts for the French Revolution. What might happen when the price of chocolate begins to soar?

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