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The large majority also don’t process their own cocoa, having their beans ground by others or buying cocoa butter – which accounts for about 20% of a milk chocolate bar – and cocoa powder, used to make cookies and ice cream.

While many chocolate makers and cocoa processors had initially agreed to pay the high prices, lockdowns from Paris to Los Angeles slashed chocolate demand and now mean they don’t need as much cocoa or need to seek cheaper supplies, said Judy Ganes, president of J Ganes Consulting.

The big trade comes after some shippers in Ivory Coast halted cocoa purchases, asking to pay a lower country-quality fee due to slowing demand.

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