Uganda Sees Coffee Exports Dropping 33% in June

Uganda, Africa’s biggest coffee exporter, expects shipments of the beans to drop 33 percent this month, the Uganda Coffee Development Authority said.

Shipments of the crop may slump to 250,000 60-kilogram (132-pound) bags from 370,924 bags a year earlier, the Kampala-based agency said in an e-mailed report today, without providing details. The country exported 252,548 bags registered last month, the most this season, the authority said.

A prolonged rainy season in the harvesting regions is hampering drying and deliveries of the beans, David Muwonge, an official of the National Union of Coffee Agribusiness and Farm Enterprises, said by phone from Kampala, the capital.

The European Union, Sudan, U.S., India, Morocco, Ecuador, Switzerland, Japan 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 valued at $256.98 million, from 1.75 million bags worth $242.37 million a year earlier, the authority said.

Exports in Season

The nation exported 3.15 million bags worth $448.89 million in 2010-11, according to the authority. 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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