05 February 1999
Hurricane halves El Salvador’s coffee exports

COFFEE exports from El Salvador halved in the first four months of the 1998-99 season because of continued poor prices and hurricane damage.

Exports reached 408,000 quintals (48 kg bags) by the end of January, compared with more than 870,000 quintals during 1997-98, according to the El Salvador Coffee Council.

The amount of coffee exported so far this season is only about a quarter of last year because of a delayed start to the harvest and exporters who are waiting for higher world prices.

Coffee from Central America – Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica and Nicaragua – has in recent years accounted for about one-tenth of world production.

This year, exports from the region are expected to fall by about 15%, the result of Hurricane Mitch and a natural dip in the growing cycle.

  • Financial Times 05/02/99 page 28