Bloomberg News

Uganda Coffee Exports Climbed 58% in June on Improved Yields

July 08, 2011

(Updates with yields in third paragraph.)

July 8 (Bloomberg) -- Coffee exports from Uganda, Africa’s second-biggest grower of the crop after Ethiopia, climbed 58 percent in June because of a good new harvest amid high prices, according to the country’s Coffee Development Authority.

Shipments in the month rose to 370,924 60-kilogram (132- pound) bags, from 234,956 bags a year earlier, an official who declined to be identified because he isn’t authorized to speak for the authority said today by phone from the capital, Kampala.

Exports surpassed an earlier target of 265,000 bags and the 253,270 bags shipped in May because of good yields in the western and southern regions, the official said. Farmers in the southern and western regions are harvesting their main crop, while the central and eastern regions are picking a secondary crop whose yields are lower than usual, according to the agency.

Exports in the 12 months through September may decline to 2.6 million bags, from an earlier forecast of 3.1 million bags, the authority said April 13. Some 2.67 million bags were shipped last season, according to the authority.

East Africa’s third-largest economy after Kenya and Tanzania experienced a dry spell from December to April, which the government blames on climate change. More than 95 percent of Uganda’s crop is grown by small-scale farmers whose plants are predominantly rain-fed, according to the authority.     Uganda earned $243.6 million from the sales of the beans last season, down from $291.3 million a year earlier. Robusta beans account for about 85 percent of annual output. The country consumes less than 3 percent of its annual output, according to the Eastern African Fine Coffee Association.     The country, where yields declined from 4.4 million bags in 1996-97 partly because of crop damage from coffee wilt disease, plans to increase production to 4.5 million bags a season by 2015 through a replanting program, according to the agency.

--Editors: John Deane, Dan Weeks

#<542304.264212.2.1.87.23378.96># -0- Jul/08/2011 08:24 GMT

-0- Jul/08/2011 10:03 GMT

To contact the reporter on this story: Fred Ojambo in Kampala at fojambo@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Richardson at pmrichardson@bloomberg.net.


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