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# Because of a rare type of fungus that killed off many cacao

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Because of a rare type of fungus that killed off many cacao [#permalink]  01 Jun 2009, 09:45
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Because of a rare type of fungus that killed off many cacao trees in Brazil, there was an unusually meager harvest of cacao beans this year. The wholesale price of cocoa solids and cocoa butter has increased significantly and is unlikely to fall in the foreseeable future. As a result, the retail price of chocolate is certain to increase within six months.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument above?

(A) Consumers will purchase other sweets if the price of chocolate increases.
(B) Researchers have discovered an effective method to kill the fungus.
(C) Dark and bittersweet varieties of chocolate will be affected more seriously than milk varieties.
(D) The price of chocolate has decreased steadily for three years.
(E) Most chocolate in stores is manufactured from cocoa that was purchased two years earlier.

[Reveal] Spoiler: Explanation
Conclusion: the retail price of chocolate is certain to increase within six months.
Option E states that
Most chocolate in stores is manufactured from cocoa that was purchased two years earlier.

My question: The options says most chocolate i.e. atleast 50% and may be 100%. So it is not mentioned that all chocolate in stores is manufactured from cocoa that was purchased two years earlier. So the conclusion can be true and some increase in retail price is possible. So is it right to conclude: Most means All? No. So Why E? (I know other options are not even close but my question is w.r.t to E option only)

Pls help.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: retail price of chocolate [#permalink]  01 Jun 2009, 13:15
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Remember that when doing weakening questions, 4 of the answer choices WILL NOT WEAKEN the conclusion. 1 answer choice WILL WEAKEN. The reason the question asks which of the following will MOST WEAKEN the argument is because they don't want people to argue that TWO solutions may possibly weaken the conclusion. Hence, only one of the choices WILL WEAKEN the statement. If someone seeks to argue another answer choice, the test makers have covered their bases with the "MOST" word, and say that their answer choice is the one that MOST weakens.

With that in mind, when approaching a weaken question, ALWAYS identify the conclusion, which is "the retail price of chocolate is certain to increase within six months."

Now, out of the following choices, which one will attack this statement? In other words, assuming that the following are true, which will NOT make the retail price of chocolate certain to increase within 6 months?

A) Consumers will purchase other sweets if the price of chocolate increases.
Doesn't really attack the conclusion. The retail price will still increase before consumers purchase other sweets.

B) Researchers have discovered an effective method to kill the fungus.

C) Dark and bittersweet varieties of chocolate will be affected more seriously than milk varieties.
Not relevant as we are not concerned with types of chocolate.

D) The price of chocolate has decreased steadily for three years.
Past years do not affect this year's crops, and we are told that this year there's a harvest shortage.

E) Most chocolate in stores is manufactured from cocoa that was purchased two years earlier.
If MOST chocolate is manufactured from previous cocoa, then this year's crops MAY NOT NECESSARILY increase the price of chocolate. Yes, it is still POSSIBLE that SOME chocolate retail prices will increase, however given that MOST of it will not, this weakens the author's claim that the price of chocolate is CERTAIN to increase in the next 6 months.

I think the key word is CERTAIN, because given that most cocoa beans are taken from a previous crop, it is NOT CERTAIN that the price of chocolate will increase in the next 6 months. This is the only answer choice that casts doubt on the certainty of the price increase is E). Again, we are searching for something that casts doubt on the certainty of the price increase, and the only answer choice that does so is E).
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Re: retail price of chocolate [#permalink]  01 Jun 2009, 11:16
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jallenmorris wrote:
I was thinking between A and E, then upon a closer reading of A, i realized that is is E.

Look at A. The wording is subtle but does make it wrong. "if the price of chocolate increases". This means AFTER an increase, we're asking to weaken the argument as to why it won't increase in the first place. Any consumer reaction to the increase price of chocolate will be too late to actually do anything. This is a 180 and will not weaken the argument. It has no effect.

E, actually creates a situation where manufacturers have enough supply to prevent them from buying more cocoa and thus can prevent an increase in the price of those goods produced.

mbaMission wrote:
Because of a rare type of fungus that killed off many cacao trees in Brazil, there was an unusually meager harvest of cacao beans this year. The wholesale price of cocoa solids and cocoa butter has increased significantly and is unlikely to fall in the foreseeable future. As a result, the retail price of chocolate is certain to increase within six months.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument above?
A) Consumers will purchase other sweets if the price of chocolate increases.
B) Researchers have discovered an effective method to kill the fungus.
C) Dark and bittersweet varieties of chocolate will be affected more seriously than milk varieties.
D) The price of chocolate has decreased steadily for three years.
E) Most chocolate in stores is manufactured from cocoa that was purchased two years earlier.

E

[spoiler]Conclusion: the retail price of chocolate is certain to increase within six months.
Option E states that
Most chocolate in stores is manufactured from cocoa that was purchased two years earlier.

My question: The options says most chocolate i.e. atleast 50% and may be 100%. So it is not mentioned that all chocolate in stores is manufactured from cocoa that was purchased two years earlier. So the conclusion can be true and some increase in retail price is possible. So is it right to conclude: Most means All? No. So Why E? (I know other options are not even close but my question is w.r.t to E option only)

Pls help.[/spoiler]

More importantly A does not do anything to negate the increase in the chocolate price (within six months).
IMO E
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Re: retail price of chocolate [#permalink]  01 Jun 2009, 10:00
I was thinking between A and E, then upon a closer reading of A, i realized that is is E.

Look at A. The wording is subtle but does make it wrong. "if the price of chocolate increases". This means AFTER an increase, we're asking to weaken the argument as to why it won't increase in the first place. Any consumer reaction to the increase price of chocolate will be too late to actually do anything. This is a 180 and will not weaken the argument. It has no effect.

E, actually creates a situation where manufacturers have enough supply to prevent them from buying more cocoa and thus can prevent an increase in the price of those goods produced.

mbaMission wrote:
Because of a rare type of fungus that killed off many cacao trees in Brazil, there was an unusually meager harvest of cacao beans this year. The wholesale price of cocoa solids and cocoa butter has increased significantly and is unlikely to fall in the foreseeable future. As a result, the retail price of chocolate is certain to increase within six months.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument above?
A) Consumers will purchase other sweets if the price of chocolate increases.
B) Researchers have discovered an effective method to kill the fungus.
C) Dark and bittersweet varieties of chocolate will be affected more seriously than milk varieties.
D) The price of chocolate has decreased steadily for three years.
E) Most chocolate in stores is manufactured from cocoa that was purchased two years earlier.

E

[spoiler]Conclusion: the retail price of chocolate is certain to increase within six months.
Option E states that
Most chocolate in stores is manufactured from cocoa that was purchased two years earlier.

My question: The options says most chocolate i.e. atleast 50% and may be 100%. So it is not mentioned that all chocolate in stores is manufactured from cocoa that was purchased two years earlier. So the conclusion can be true and some increase in retail price is possible. So is it right to conclude: Most means All? No. So Why E? (I know other options are not even close but my question is w.r.t to E option only)

Pls help.[/spoiler]

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Re: retail price of chocolate [#permalink]  01 Jun 2009, 11:32
My question:

The options says most chocolate i.e. atleast 51% and may be 100%. So it is not mentioned that all chocolate in stores is manufactured from cocoa that was purchased two years earlier. So the conclusion can be true and some increase in retail price is possible. So is it right to conclude: Most means All? No.

So Why E? (I know other options are not even close but my question is w.r.t to E option only)

To elaborate a bit more:

Consider 51% chocolate in stores is manufactured from cocoa that was purchased two years earlier. 49% chocolate in stores is not manufactured from cocoa that was purchased two years earlier.

This can lead to a significant increase in price? Answer is Yes.

I too picked E but i was not totally convinced.
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Re: retail price of chocolate [#permalink]  01 Jun 2009, 12:57
amolsk11 wrote:
Ohh , I totally missed "most" in option E.
Now I am also doubtful about E.

OA is E ?

Double Checked. Still E
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Re: retail price of chocolate [#permalink]  03 Jun 2009, 09:52
+1 kudos.. to Bipolar..

the answer is correct if it is relatively better than the rest..
not necessary that it has to be best absolutely..
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Re: retail price of chocolate [#permalink]  03 Jun 2009, 13:37
Answer E weakens the original argument. The original argument assumed prices of chocolates would rise, which means prices of all chocolates in general. If we can prove that the prices of atleast some of chocolates would not rise, we can weaken the argument. Answer E just does that.
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Re: retail price of chocolate [#permalink]  12 Apr 2011, 03:39
mbaMission wrote:
Because of a rare type of fungus that killed off many cacao trees in Brazil, there was an unusually meager harvest of cacao beans this year. The wholesale price of cocoa solids and cocoa butter has increased significantly and is unlikely to fall in the foreseeable future. As a result, the retail price of chocolate is certain to increase within six months.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument above?

(A) Consumers will purchase other sweets if the price of chocolate increases.
(B) Researchers have discovered an effective method to kill the fungus.
(C) Dark and bittersweet varieties of chocolate will be affected more seriously than milk varieties.
(D) The price of chocolate has decreased steadily for three years.
(E) Most chocolate in stores is manufactured from cocoa that was purchased two years earlier.

[Reveal] Spoiler: Explanation
Conclusion: the retail price of chocolate is certain to increase within six months.
Option E states that
Most chocolate in stores is manufactured from cocoa that was purchased two years earlier.

My question: The options says most chocolate i.e. atleast 50% and may be 100%. So it is not mentioned that all chocolate in stores is manufactured from cocoa that was purchased two years earlier. So the conclusion can be true and some increase in retail price is possible. So is it right to conclude: Most means All? No. So Why E? (I know other options are not even close but my question is w.r.t to E option only)

Pls help.

Please find the analysis of all the options the best answer is E

A) Consumer will purchase other sweets after increase of prices of chocolate hence does not weakens the argument
B) Effective method of killing fungus which is discovered by researcher may be applied now and have impact on cacao prices next year hence does not weakens the argument.
C) Dark and bittersweet chocolate prices will indeed go up.
D) The decrease in chocolate prices in last three years should not weaken the argument
E) Most chocolate in stores are manufactured for cocoa which was purchased two earlier means there is a lead time to two years to affect the prices of chocolate, hence weakens the argument as this year’s cocoa will have effect on chocolate prices after two years
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Re: retail price of chocolate [#permalink]  12 Apr 2011, 07:06
Chose E

The only answer chose that has an effect on the current chocolate market.
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Re: retail price of chocolate [#permalink]  12 Apr 2011, 08:56
mbaMission wrote:
Because of a rare type of fungus that killed off many cacao trees in Brazil, there was an unusually meager harvest of cacao beans this year. The wholesale price of cocoa solids and cocoa butter has increased significantly and is unlikely to fall in the foreseeable future. As a result, the retail price of chocolate is certain to increase within six months.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument above?

(A) Consumers will purchase other sweets if the price of chocolate increases.
(B) Researchers have discovered an effective method to kill the fungus.
(C) Dark and bittersweet varieties of chocolate will be affected more seriously than milk varieties.
(D) The price of chocolate has decreased steadily for three years.
(E) Most chocolate in stores is manufactured from cocoa that was purchased two years earlier.

[Reveal] Spoiler: Explanation
Conclusion: the retail price of chocolate is certain to increase within six months.
Option E states that
Most chocolate in stores is manufactured from cocoa that was purchased two years earlier.

My question: The options says most chocolate i.e. atleast 50% and may be 100%. So it is not mentioned that all chocolate in stores is manufactured from cocoa that was purchased two years earlier. So the conclusion can be true and some increase in retail price is possible. So is it right to conclude: Most means All? No. So Why E? (I know other options are not even close but my question is w.r.t to E option only)

Pls help.

For strengthen/weaken question types we are looking at "most probable" reasoning not strict text book logic like inference or must be true questions.

In this case... the argument is that chocolate prices will increase within 6 months. If chocolate prices don't increase in 6 months then the argument is weakened.

If most chocolate is processed in stores from cocoa purchased 2 years ago chocolate prices may not go up within 6 months.. it may take 1, 2, or longer years.
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Re: retail price of chocolate [#permalink]  12 Apr 2011, 09:37
E because if the cocoa bought for current choclate stock is 2 years old - Manufacturer will have enough stock for production for another 6 months atleast as mentioned - so it weakens the arguement.
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Re: retail price of chocolate [#permalink]  12 May 2011, 07:20
E. Because the manufacturers already have stocks in store.
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Re: retail price of chocolate [#permalink]  19 May 2011, 09:26
mbaMission wrote:
Because of a rare type of fungus that killed off many cacao trees in Brazil, there was an unusually meager harvest of cacao beans this year. The wholesale price of cocoa solids and cocoa butter has increased significantly and is unlikely to fall in the foreseeable future. As a result, the retail price of chocolate is certain to increase within six months.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument above?

(A) Consumers will purchase other sweets if the price of chocolate increases.
(B) Researchers have discovered an effective method to kill the fungus.
(C) Dark and bittersweet varieties of chocolate will be affected more seriously than milk varieties.
(D) The price of chocolate has decreased steadily for three years.
(E) Most chocolate in stores is manufactured from cocoa that was purchased two years earlier.

[Reveal] Spoiler: Explanation
Conclusion: the retail price of chocolate is certain to increase within six months.
Option E states that
Most chocolate in stores is manufactured from cocoa that was purchased two years earlier.

My question: The options says most chocolate i.e. atleast 50% and may be 100%. So it is not mentioned that all chocolate in stores is manufactured from cocoa that was purchased two years earlier. So the conclusion can be true and some increase in retail price is possible. So is it right to conclude: Most means All? No. So Why E? (I know other options are not even close but my question is w.r.t to E option only)

Pls help.

If less than 50% of cacao chocolate was consumed in last 2 years, there is enough stock(more than 50%) to last at least another 6 months(ideally >2 years if all the other factors remain constant). Thus, the conclusion that shortage of cacao will increase chocolate rate is most weakened by "E".

B is also a possible choice but we don't know how long does it take for killing fungus and have a new harvest. It can take 1 month or 11 months.
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Re: retail price of chocolate [#permalink]  19 May 2011, 19:58
E states clean that the price won't increase since the old stock has not been cleared yet.
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Re: Because of a rare type of fungus that killed off many cacao [#permalink]  17 Apr 2013, 06:07
Argument: The retail price of chocolate is certain to increase within six months

Question: Which option weakens the argument most seriously?

(A) Consumers will purchase other sweets if the price of chocolate increases.
This option talks about what consumers can do if the price of chocolate increases. There is no information/evidence on whether the price of chocolate will increase. This option does not weaken the argument.

(B) Researchers have discovered an effective method to kill the fungus.
The concern is about this year's cacao beans production. Discovery of the effective method to kill the fungus has no effect on this year's production. This option does not weaken the argument.

(C) Dark and bittersweet varieties of chocolate will be affected more seriously than milk varieties.
There is no classification on varieties of chocolate. Concern is on the price of whole chocolate category. This option does not weaken the argument.

(D) The price of chocolate has decreased steadily for three years.
Fungus destroyed the crops this year and so the previous price trend is not applicable on the current new situation. This option does not weaken the argument.

(E) Most chocolate in stores is manufactured from cocoa that was purchased two years earlier.
This option precisely attacks the certainty of price increase within six months. As the stock of chocolates is 2 years old, it is likely that the stock will mitigate the demand for more than six months and that makes the price increase within six months uncertain. This option weakens the argument.

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Re: Because of a rare type of fungus that killed off many cacao [#permalink]  17 Apr 2013, 10:21
Obviously if the demand is being met by cocoa, which was bought 2 years before, the current prices will not be driven by any problems faced by cocoa beans in near past...So, the answer is E .
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Re: Because of a rare type of fungus that killed off many cacao [#permalink]  18 Apr 2013, 00:06
Because of a rare type of fungus that killed off many cacao trees in Brazil, there was an unusually meager harvest of cacao beans this year. The wholesale price of cocoa solids and cocoa butter has increased significantly and is unlikely to fall in the foreseeable future. As a result, the retail price of chocolate is certain to increase within six months.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument above?

(A) Consumers will purchase other sweets if the price of chocolate increases. does not weaken
(B) Researchers have discovered an effective method to kill the fungus. out of scope
(C) Dark and bittersweet varieties of chocolate will be affected more seriously than milk varieties.out of scope
(D) The price of chocolate has decreased steadily for three years.does not weaken
(E) Most chocolate in stores is manufactured from cocoa that was purchased two years earlier. Two years before there was no issue with fungus and the production was fine. The fungus issue turned up this year. Hence the decline in cocoa production is not dependent on the fungus. Thus it weakens.
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Re: Because of a rare type of fungus that killed off many cacao [#permalink]  01 Sep 2013, 22:41
The conclusion of the argument is that “the retail price of chocolate is certain to
increase within six months.” This claim is based on the fact that the wholesale
price of cocoa solids and cocoa butter has increased significantly and is likely to
stay high. The argument assumes that the current retail price of chocolate
reflects the current wholesale price of cocoa
. The correct answer will weaken the
(A) The argument concludes that the retail price of chocolate is certain to
increase - what consumers will or will not do in response to the predicted price
increase is not relevant.
(B) If researchers have discovered a method to kill the fungus, then the cacao
bean crop might recover, although this statement does not provide any indication
that that will happen. This statement does not mention anything about when the
fungicide method would be implemented, or how long the supposed cacao bean
crop recovery would take. Therefore, this statement fails to weaken the
conclusion that the retail price will increase within six months.
(C) The argument does not discuss the differences between types of chocolates,
so the statement that dark and bittersweet varieties will be more seriously
affected than milk varieties is irrelevant.
(D) The price of chocolate in the past is irrelevant to the conclusion about the
price of chocolate in the next six months.
(E) CORRECT. This statement contradicts the assumption that the retail price of
chocolate immediately reflects the wholesale price of cocoa solids and cocoa
butter. If the chocolate currently sold in stores was made from cocoa purchased
two years ago, then it may be quite some time before the current wholesale price
increase is passed on to retail chocolate consumers.
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Re: Because of a rare type of fungus that killed off many cacao [#permalink]  01 Sep 2015, 11:18
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Re: Because of a rare type of fungus that killed off many cacao   [#permalink] 01 Sep 2015, 11:18
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