The Hemisphere: Surplus & Shortage

The price of a pound of quality coffee in U.S. grocery stores edged up last week past $1.15 — only 15¢ short of 1954's peak price and a fat 26¢ higher than 1955'$ low. This time around, the trail of cause and effect appeared to lead straight back to shrewd Manuel Mejia, czar of the Colombian Federation of Coffeegrowers.

Taken as a whole, coffee is in surplus all over the world. U.S. Department of Agriculture tabulations put 1955-56 production at 50 million 132-lb. bags, 6,700,000 more than ever before. But the U.S. consumer insists that a goodly proportion (35%-40%) of flavorful...

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