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Uganda Coffee Exports Rise 15% in November From 2009

Dec. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Coffee exports from Uganda, Africa’s biggest producer of robusta coffee, climbed 15 percent last month because of a bigger crop resulting from improved weather, the Uganda Coffee Development Authority said.

Shipments in November rose to 267,506 60-kilogram (132-pound) bags, from 233,511 bags a year earlier, the agency said in a draft report, details of which were provided to Bloomberg News by phone today from the capital, Kampala.

Exports last month were 42 percent higher than the 188,012 bags shipped in October and surpassed an earlier forecast of 250,000 bags by 7 percent, the agency said. Exports in 2001-11 season, which runs through September, may rise by 16 percent to 3.1 million bags from last season because an expected improvement in the weather, the agency said on Sept. 20.

Shipments from Oct. 1 through November rose to 455,518 bags from 432,522 bags in the first two months of last season, according to a tally of the UCDA figures by Bloomberg News.

The country, whose crop is largely rain-fed, received improved rains earlier this year resulting in a bigger crop, according to the authority.

Shipments from the East African nation, which consumes 3 percent of its crop, declined last season from 3.06 million bags in 2008-09 after a drought cut yields, it said.

Output in Uganda slumped from more than 4 million bags in 1996-97 after coffee wilt disease destroyed the crop, according to the authority. New planting and improving farm management may help the country boost output to 4.5 million bags by 2015, the authority says.

Uganda is Africa’s second-biggest producer of coffee after Ethiopia. Robusta accounts for about 85 percent of the country’s annual output and the country earned $243.57 million from the crop last season compared to $291.29 million 3.06 million bags in 2008-09 because of a drop in volume, the agency said.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net.

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