04 November 1998
Hurricane Mitch boosts coffee markets

HURRICANE Mitch, which swept through Central America in a trail of death and destruction, has disrupted the coffee market too.

The storm is threatening the regions exports of high quality arabica coffee beans – which account for 10-12% of world coffee production.

Arabica futures soared to 127¢/lb (35p/kg) in New York yesterday (Tuesday), after seeing a 9% rise to 119.7¢ on Monday.

The storm is believed to have damaged or destroyed much of the regions crop.

Fernando Montes, general manager of the Honduras Coffee Institute, said landslides had buried or cut access to many plantations.

The country earned more than $500 million (£300m) from coffee exports last year.

The National Coffee Association in Guatemala expected to see exports down by up to 3.5m bags.

  • The Times 04/11/98 page 17
  • The Independent 04/11/98 page 1, page 3
  • Financial Times 04/11/98 page 32
  • The Guardian 04/11/98 page 22
  • The Daily Telegraph 04/11/98 page 14
  • The Herald 04/11/98 page 16