Chocolate more costly after £658 million cocoa purchase

Cocoa Beans

Anthony Ward recently purchased 241,000 tons of cocoa. Now everyone will pay for his love of chocolate. (Photo: Londo Mollari/Flickr/CC by-sa)

“Not for all the tea in China” is the expression used when something is so valuable to an individual that it isn’t up for sale (although tea in China is a huge staple of exchange or barter). Yet cocoa is a different story, as British financier Anthony Ward has proven. Mr. Ward set down £658 million to purchase what is the equivalent of all the cocoa in Europe: 241,000 tons. His $1 billion-plus USD purchase means that cocoa prices are on the way up.

The largest cocoa purchase since the 1990s

Cocoa manufacturers now have to raise prices to recoup costs because of Ward’s action, reports the Telegraph. The commodities trader was once a motorcycle dispatch driver, and now Anthony Ward is currently worth £36 million ($55 million USD). With the assistance of hedge fund organization Armajaro Holdings, Ward was able to rake in the cocoa. Is it any wonder that Ward used to be the head of the European Cocoa Association? Telegraph writes that that association has bought up 15 percent of the world’s cocoa stocks over the past decade.

Can you even contemplate 241,000 tons of cocoa beans?

Ward will be using warehouses in the Netherlands, Germany and the U.K. to house his momentous amount of  cocoa. Considering that experts have confirmed the monumental tonnage, Ward will need all the storage area he can buy. He’s been there before, so he knows — he bought 204,000 tons of cocoa from West Africa in 2002. That previous buy made him £40 million ($61 million) in just two months. The latest cocoa buy can be an even larger financial windfall.

Why your cocoa is going to cost more

Send a card of thanks to Anthony Ward, whose actions hit as hard, if not harder, than any vice tax. Ward’s big score jumped cocoa prices by 0.7 percent (trading at £2,732 or $4,176 per metric ton). The Telegraph indicates that Anthony Ward’s recent cocoa scoop up has topped all European cocoa deals since 1977. Ward increased the price per ton by £200 in 2002. Considering the high cocoa demand worldwide, chocolate makers will raise their prices considerably this time, or at least use less of it in their recipes. Sadly, consumers will lose as chocolate becomes either more costly or less flavorful.


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