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HONDURAS

Coffee crops safe after storms

TEGUCIGALPA | Honduras, one of Central America’s top coffee producers, said its crops largely survived the weekend’s heavy rains from Tropical Storm Matthew, but damaged roads could slow the harvest next month.

Because the crop losses were not expected to be significant in volume, coffee dealers said the storm did not impact Arabica coffee futures trading on ICE Futures U.S. Monday.

Coffee prices soared to a 13-year top earlier this month, underpinned by fund buying and tight global supplies of washed Arabica beans ahead of Colombia’s and Central America’s upcoming growing seasons.

CUBA

Gasoline prices rise 10 percent

HAVANA | Cuba already has increased high gasoline prices by about 10 percent amid sweeping changes to the economy, a move that could lead to grumbling among some cash-strapped islanders, particularly private taxi drivers, who are not allowed to raise their own prices.

The changes, which took effect Monday, were announced in the Communist Party newspaper Granma, which cited rising international prices for the move. It was the first time prices have risen since September 2008, when crude oil internationally sold for about a third more than it does now.

The cost of diesel fuel — used by many of the old cars that populate Cuba’s streets — rose to $4.50 a gallon, about 42 cents a gallon higher than previously. The highest-octane fuel rose even more, to $6.54 a gallon from $5.72 a gallon.

The prices approach those paid in Europe and apparently are the highest in the hemisphere, topping pump prices in Brazil and Bermuda. They are a fortune for Cubans, who make the average salary of just $20 a month.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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