Cocoa prices have climbed to their highest level in more than 20-years after concerns arose surrounding the quality and quantity of the crop from the Ivory Coast.

In New York, ICE September cocoa climbed to the highest level in 28 years after increasing 2.4%, or US$73, reaching $3,099 per tonne. While on the London market, ICE September cocoa futures reached a 22-year peak, increasing 1.7% to GBP1,653.

The increased levels of trade came in the wake of a report by independent cocoa analyst Hans Kilian that raised concerns that the Ivory Coast crop has been damaged by insects and disease.

However, International Cocoa Organisation told just-food that it is too early to say whether the Ivory Coast's crop will be lower than expected.

"It is a little early to conclude on the main crop in Côte d'Ivoire," a spokesperson for the cocoa body commented. "There are some signs that the crop will not be as large as anticipated."

In May, the International Cocoa Organisation predicted 2007-08 world cocoa production would total 3.74m tonnes and forecast a small supply surplus of 71,000 tonnes in 2008/09.

Kilian was unavailable for comment as just-food went to press.