Approximately 8% of the world’s coffee supply could be destroyed in flooding left by hurricane Katrina which ripped through parts of the US at the weekend.

The 96,000 tonne supply is stored in warehouses in New Orleans but is under threat from rising floodwater in the area.

Nestor Asorio, executive director of the International Coffee Organisation, said that the supply would take a year to replace if it was destroyed and would increase the price of coffee.

Meanwhile, US retail giant Wal-Mart said that the hurricane had forced it to close 123 of its US stores.