01 July 1997
Drought and flooding threaten sharp crop price increases
There are fears of sharp increases in prices of agricultural commodities over
the next few months because of drought in some of the worlds leading
commodity-producing countries and flooding in others.
The Climate Prediction Centre for the National Weather Service warned of severe
climatic disruptions from the latest developing El Nino weather pattern. This is
a periodic warming of the tropical Pacific Ocean by a few degrees that
Sugar crops could decline by as much as 20% next year. Kenyas tea crop is
already down at least 20% because of drought. Jamaican agriculture has been
severely affected and Australia has forecast that drought will cut the value of
its agricultural exports by 5% in 1997-98.