Ugandan Coffee Exports Surge in August on Improved Harvest, Authority Says
Coffee exports from Uganda, Africa’s second-biggest producer of the crop, jumped 42 percent in August amid an improved harvest in the southern and southwestern regions, the Uganda Coffee Development Authority said.
Shipments climbed to 309,303 60-kilogram (132-pound) bags from 217,284 bags a year earlier, the agency said in a statement e-mailed yesterday from the capital, Kampala. Exports surpassed an earlier forecast of 240,000 bags, though they were less than the 375,843 bags shipped in July as the harvest draws to a close, it said.
Exports in the 12 months through Sept. 30 may be as much as 12 percent higher than an April forecast of 2.6 million bags because of the better harvest, the agency said in August. The southern and southwestern regions gather their main crop from April through August.
Uganda ranks behind Ethiopia as the continent’s largest exporter of coffee, according to the website of the International Coffee Organization. The robusta variety accounts for about 85 percent of the East African nation’s annual production of the beans.
Exports from the start of the season on Oct. 1 through August climbed to 2.8 million bags, from 2.5 million bags a year earlier, according a tally of the authority’s figures by Bloomberg.
The East African nation, where yields declined from 4.4 million bags in 1996-97 partly because of crop damage caused by the coffee wilt disease, plans to increase production to 4.5 million a season by 2015 through an ongoing replanting program, according to the agency.
The country consumes less than 3 percent of its annual output, according to the Eastern African Fine Coffee Association.
To contact the reporter on this story: Fred Ojambo in Kampala via Nairobi at firstname.lastname@example.org.