23 Apr 2024 16:11

Russian chocolate producers forced to raise prices due to sharp rise in prices of cocoa products - ASKOND

MOSCOW. April 23 (Interfax) - Russian chocolate producers are raising prices for their products due to the sharp rise in the prices of cocoa products, and convincing the trade that this is a forced measure and asking them to treat it with understanding, Sergei Nosenko, president of the Association of Confectionery Industry Enterprises (ASKOND) said at the Confectionery Products of the 21st Century: Development in Challenging Times" conference on Tuesday in Moscow.

"A difficult and important category is nuts and cocoa beans. Without this, it is useless to talk about chocolate production. We understand that almost the entire nut category does not grow in Russia, and this applies even more so to cocoa beans," he said.

What has been happening recently with cocoa bean prices can hardly even be called an emergency, he said. Prices for cocoa beans on the London and New York stock exchanges "have gone up threefold," he said.

Prices increased almost 2.5-fold in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2023, and nearly quadrupled from the beginning of 2023 to the end of March this year, Nosenko's presentation said. Moreover, from March 1 through March 28, the price on the London Stock Exchange increased from 6,500 to 8,300 pounds sterling per tonne. The price reached $11,000-11,500 per tonne on some days in April on the New York Stock Exchange, Nosenko said.

Therefore, many manufacturers, both last and this year, began to increase their prices for chocolate, but encountered resistance from retail chains. "We understand that the chains do not want this. We convince and show them that this is not some kind of speculative measure or wishful thinking, but a forced measure due to market circumstances. And the prices for cocoa beans in America, Europe and Russia are symmetrical and identical," he said.

If in September last year the share of cocoa products in the cost of dark chocolate production was 72.4%, then in March 2024 it increased to 83.7%, Nosenko said.

A request for the trade to treat the problems of confectioners properly in connection with the sharp rise in prices for cocoa beans was also made at a recent meeting with the Secretary of State - Deputy Head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade Viktor Yevtukhov, Nosenko said. It was clearly stated that the price increase was related to the market situation, that this was a forced measure, the head of ASKOND said.

Of the total confectionery production volume of 4.1 million tonnes in 2023, chocolate products accounted for 30% in volume and 48%, or 1.061 trillion rubles, in value terms, Nosenko's presentation said. Chocolate products also accounted for 30% of sales volume (3.73 million tonnes), while their share of sales in value terms was higher at 49% (1.658 trillion rubles), Nosenko said.