08 April 1998
El Niño stirs up coffee fears

COFFEE growers in central America are expecting a poor year following the dry prelude to the 1998-99 season.

The El Niño phenomenon caused an unusual dry spell last year, slashing the size of the 1997-98 harvest. Most South American countries experienced falls in production of between 20-25%. Now this years harvest is also under threat.

There is anxiety that El Niño could delay the onset of the main rainy season, which is crucial for the abundant flowering in plantations.

  • Financial Times 08/04/98 page 31