21 August 1997
Widespread droughts hit Pacific rim

  • Australias Wool Producing Forecasting Committee could downgrade its 1997-98 forecasts for wool production today in the drought-affected south and east. Australia has experienced abnormally low rainfall which is expected to continue for the rest of the year.
  • The Philippines rice harvests may be reduced in the second half of the year due to the El Niño effect sweeping the southern hemisphere.
  • Drought in the north of China continues to affect 20mha (49m acres). The northern province of Hebei has some 200,000ha (494,193 acres) of farmland which is expected to produce nothing this year.
  • Indonesias coffee plantations are reeling from a severe lack of rainfall with fears the current crop could be 40% down on last year.
  • Columbian coffee growers are also worried that their crop could be damaged, especially in the Valle de Cauca province in the south-west.

  • Financial Times 21/08/97 page 23