(Bloomberg) -- Nigeria’s cocoa planting and mid-crop harvest will be disrupted as the Hydrological Service Agency has warned of heavy flooding in the country’s main cocoa growing areas.

The flood prone states include Ondo, Cross River, Osun, Oyo, Ogun, Taraba and Delta, Joseph Utsev, the minister of Water Resources and Sanitation said in Abuja on Wednesday. The areas account for 94% of the nation’s output of the chocolate ingredient. 

The West African nation, the fifth largest grower of the crop globally, is expected to see output drop to 225,000 tons in the 2023-24 season from an earlier forecast of 280,000 to 300,000 due to bad weather that affected harvests, Mufutau Abolarinwa, the president of Cocoa Association of Nigeria said in February. 

The flooding — expected between April and November — is like to worsen the situation, compounding a global shortage that has seen futures soar past records. Top cocoa producers Ivory Coast and Ghana have also seen poor crops because of severe weather and diseases.

Nigeria’s cocoa season begins in October with the larger main-crop harvest, followed by the smaller mid-crop harvest which ends in June. 

Floods in Africa’s most populous nation claimed hundreds of lives in 2022 and resulted in to $9 billion in damage, according to a report from the nation’s statistics agency. 

The extreme weather “will be devastating, considering the colossal loss in production that cocoa farmers are currently suffering from,” said Adeola Adegoke, the president of Nigeria’s Cocoa Farmers Association. “We intend to immediately embark on advocacy among our members to educate them on measures to take to mitigate the effects of the flooding.” 

Cocoa futures climbed over 5% in New York on Thursday, moving back toward an all-time high set on Monday.

(Updates with details. An earlier version of this story corrected cocoa season in the third paragraph)

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