Uganda Coffee Exports Climb to Season’s Record on Peaked Harvest

Coffee exports from Uganda, Africa’s biggest seller of the beans, climbed to a seasonal high in June after the harvest in the southern and southwestern regions peaked, the Uganda Coffee Development Authority said.

Shipments rose to 275,057 60-kilogram (132-pound) bags, surpassing the May exports of 252,548 bags, the earlier record, the authority said today by e-mail from Kampala, the capital.

While exports last month beat an earlier forecast of 250,000 bags, they were 26 percent lower than the 370,924 bags a year earlier after heavy rains hampered drying of the beans, according to the authority.

The European Union, Sudan, U.S., India, Morocco, Ecuador, Switzerland, Japan and South Africa are some of the major importers of Uganda’s coffee, the agency says.

Uganda may export 3.1 million to 3.2 million bags in the 2011-12 season, which started on Oct. 1 and runs through September, according to the authority. This compares with the forecast of 2.8 million to 2.9 million given by National Union of Coffee Agribusinesses and Farm Enterprises on May 8.

Shipments from October through June, the ninth month of the season, dropped to 2.01 million bags, from 2.12 million bags according to a Bloomberg tally of the authority’s figures.

The nation exported 3.15 million bags worth $448.9 million in 2010-11, according to the authority. The Eastern Africa Fine Coffee Association says Uganda consumes about 3 percent of its annual crop.

Uganda was Africa’s biggest coffee exporter and the world’s ninth-largest in the 12 months through last September, according to the London-based International Coffee Organization. Robusta beans, used in espressos and instant drinks, account for about 85 percent of Ugandan production, according to the authority.

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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