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Uganda Coffee Exports Rise After Kenya Election Dispute Resolved

Coffee exports from Uganda, Africa’s second-biggest exporter of the beans, rose year-on-year in April after a post-election dispute was resolved in neighboring Kenya, its gateway to the sea.

Shipments last month rose 76 percent to 248,749 60-kilogram (132-pound) bags, from 141,220 bags a year earlier, the Uganda Coffee Development Authority, the regulator, said late yesterday by e-mail from Kampala, the capital. The beans were worth $30.4 million, it said.

Exports from the East African nation, which ships its beans mainly to the European Union, U.S., Sudan, Switzerland, India, Singapore and Japan, were less than an earlier forecast by the authority of 270,000 bags on a delayed harvest. Last month’s shipments compared with 311,290 bags in March.

Kenya’s Supreme Court on March 30 upheld Uhuru Kenyatta’s presidential election victory earlier in the month, dismissing a challenge from defeated challenger Raila Odinga, who called on his supporters to respect the verdict. In the 2007 election, ethnic clashes led to 1,100 deaths and 350,000 people being displaced from their homes in more than two months of fighting.

Exports in the 12 months from Oct. 1 through September may rise to 3.2 million bags from 2.73 million bags last season on a bigger crop after favorable weather, Francis Chesang, the authority’s manager for production, said on Sept. 20. The nation produces 3.4 million to 3.5 million bags annually, according to the authority.

The nation’s coffee exports in the first seven months of the 2012-13 season climbed 27 percent to 1.9 million bags from 1.5 million bags a year earlier, according to a tally of the authority figures by Bloomberg. The value of exports in the period rose to $235.9 million from $224.2 million a year earlier.

The country consumes about 3 percent of its annual crop, the African Fine Coffees Association says. Robusta beans, used in espressos and instant drinks, accounted for 70 percent of Ugandan exports last season, according to the authority.

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