Top Coffee-Exporting Nation in Africa Sees Higher 2016-17 Output

  • Output projected to climb to 4.2 million bags from 4 million
  • Exports forecast at 3.8 million bags from 3.6 million bags

Africa’s biggest coffee exporter may boost output 5 percent next season as trees planted in Uganda in recent years begin producing and weather improves, the nation’s regulator said.

Production in the coffee year through September 2017 may climb to 4.2 million 60-kilogram (132-pound) bags, from 4 million bags projected for the season ending next month, Norman Basobokwe Mutekanga, director of strategy and business development at Uganda Coffee Development Authority, said by phone on Thursday from the capital of Kampala.

“We have been planting new coffee trees and new yields are coming into harvest,” he said. “The weather has been relatively good compared to the last two years when we experienced drought.”

Shipments from the continent’s biggest grower of the crop after Ethiopia may climb 5.6 percent to 3.8 million bags next season from 3.6 million seen this year, Mutekanga said. The regulator cut its export forecast this season by 200,000 bags after a drought cut yields.

The main destinations for deliveries of Ugandan coffee, 80 percent of which are robusta, include the European Union, Sudan, Morocco, India, Russia and the U.S. The East African nation has pursued a coffee replanting program for more than two decades, replacing trees affected by wilt disease or that are old and less productive.

The country plans to boost annual output to 20 million bags by 2020 by planting 900 million trees in three years through June 2019, the regulator said Aug. 9. It plants varieties that start to yield crops two to three years after planting.

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