The prices of cocoa in India have dropped around 30 to 40 percent because of a lowering in international rates and a slowdown in demand for domestic chocolate manufacturers.
Farmers say that, high imports after the decision made by the government to reduce customs duty on cocoa powder is another reason for the drop in price. The prices in the domestic market have gone down from Rs 200-210 to Rs 130-160 per kilogram, depending on variety.
Another reason for the decline in price is a bumper crop last season due to optimal weather in West Africa. Ivory Coast and Ghana comprise of more than two-thirds of the global supply.
Managing director of Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Cooperative, Suresh Bhandary M, agrees that prices have indeed declined for those two reasons. The croup yield within india has also been good he added.
It has been estimated that the increase of production is around 10 to 15 percent.
India’s only certified cocoa and chocolate taster, L Nitin Chordia, said due to political reasons global prices for cocoa have steadily gone down from $3,100 per ton to $2,000 per ton at the London cocoa exchange in the past nine months.
Chordia said: "No other crop has seen such a fall like cocoa. In the 1970s, exactly the same thing had happened. It is coming back now”. Chordia also advises farmers and collaborates with the government on various projects in cocoa farming.