PRICES: Coffee Simmers Down

Stimulating news for coffee lovers: prices are declining.

For about two years coffee drinkers have bitterly watched prices jump from $1.46 a Ib. to more than $4. A crop-killing frost in Brazil in 1975 touched off frantic bidding by buyers who feared a shortage; several coffee-producing countries aggravated the rise by increasing export taxes on the beans. Now the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts that Brazil, which normally grows about a third of the world's supply, will harvest about 17 million bags of beans in the crop year that begins Oct. 1—not far from double the 1976-77 crop of...

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