Uganda May Coffee Exports Rise to Year’s Highest on Weather

Uganda’s coffee exports in May climbed to the highest level this season because of good yields in the nation’s southern region of Masaka and in the southwest, the country’s Coffee Development Authority said.

Shipments from Africa’s biggest exporter of the crop rose 2 percent to 252,458 60-kilogram (132-pound) bags, from 247,460 bags a year earlier, an official at the authority said today by e-mail from Kampala, the capital.

The shipments compare with 141,220 bags in April and were 40 percent above a forecast of 180,000 bags, the official said.

Good weather boosted crops in Masaka and the southwest, the official said.

The European Union, Sudan, U.S., India, Morocco, Switzerland and South Africa are some of the major importers of Uganda’s coffee, according to the authority.

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 May, the eighth month of the season, dropped to 1.74 million bags from 1.75 million bags a year earlier, according to a tally of authority figures by Bloomberg.

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.

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