Coffee exports from Uganda, Africa’s biggest exporter of the beans, in July climbed to the highest level this season as farmers released stocks to cash in on improved prices, the Uganda Coffee Development Authority said.
Shipments reached 307,921 60-kilogram (132-pound) bags, surpassing an earlier season’s best of 275,057 bags in June, an official at the authority said today by e-mail from Kampala, the capital. Exports beat an earlier forecast of 280,000 bags, though they were 18 percent lower than 376,173 bags a year earlier, the official said.
Robusta coffee for September deliver climbed 4.8 percent to $2,237 a ton in London last month. Robusta beans, used in espressos and instant drinks, account for about 85 percent of Ugandan production, according to the authority.
The country may export as many as 3.2 million bags in the 2011-12 season that began on Oct. 1 and runs through September, according to the authority. That compares with a 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 July, the 10th month of the season, dropped to 2.32 million bags, from 2.50 million bags a year earlier, according to a tally of the authority’s figures by Bloomberg. The nation exported 3.15 million bags worth $448.9 million in 2010-11, according to the authority.
The European Union, Sudan, the U.S., India, Morocco, Ecuador, Switzerland, Japan and South Africa are among the biggest importers of Uganda’s coffee, the agency says. Uganda consumes about 3 percent of its annual crop, according to the Eastern Africa Fine Coffee Association.
To contact the reporter on this story: Fred Ojambo in Kampala at firstname.lastname@example.org