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(Updates with coffee agency comment in third paragraph.)
Dec. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Coffee exports from Uganda, Africa’s largest exporter of the crop, may fall 9.6 percent this month as wet weather hinders the harvesting and drying of the beans, the nation’s coffee development agency said.
December shipments may decline to 215,000 60-kilogram (132- pound) bags from 237,747 bags a year earlier, the Uganda Coffee Development Authority said in an e-mailed statement today. The forecast is 5.4 percent less than the 227,177 bags shipped in November, it said.
“On-going rains have delayed the harvesting and drying processes in most areas,” the authority said. “This has put pressure on the quality of the coffee.”
Uganda ranks behind Ethiopia as Africa’s largest producer of the crop, according to the International Coffee Organization. Robusta beans, used in espressos and instant drinks, account for about 85 percent of the nation’s annual production.
Shipments from the East African nation may rise to 3.3 million bags in the 12 months through September 2012 from 3.15 million bags a year earlier because of a bigger crop, the authority said last month.
Uganda plans to increase production to 4.5 million bags by 2015 through a replanting program. The nation consumes around 3 percent of its annual coffee crop and the rest is exported, according to the Eastern African Fine Coffee Association.
--Editors: Alastair Reed, John Deane.
To contact the reporter on this story: Fred Ojambo in Kampala at firstname.lastname@example.org
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