Uganda Coffee Exports Rise Year-on-Year for Third Month in March

Coffee exports from Uganda, Africa’s second-biggest shipper of the beans, rose for a third month year-on-year in March, as exporters bought and released more stocks.

Exports in March rose 66 percent to 311,290 60-kilogram (132-pound) bags from 187,592 bags a year earlier, Uganda Coffee Development Authority, the regulator, said today by e-mail from the capital Kampala. The beans were valued at $38 million last month.

Shipments from the East African nation, which sends its beans mainly to the European Union, U.S., Sudan, Switzerland, India, Australia and Russia, surpassed an earlier forecast 270,000 bags, the agency said. Exports were lower than February’s 344,760 bags as the main harvest slowed.

Exporters enhanced buying and releasing of stocks last month, the agency said without providing details. Robusta coffee fell 2.2 percent to $2,074 a metric ton on NYSE Liffe in March, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Shipments in the first half of the 2012-13 season, which started Oct. 1, climbed 22 percent to 1,644,215 bags from 1,343,136 a year earlier, according to a tally of the authority figures by Bloomberg News. The value of exports in the first half of the season rose to $205.5 million from $202.4 million.

Total exports for the 2012-13 are expected to rise to 3.2 million bags from 2.73 million on a larger crop due to improved weather, according to the authority.

The East African nation, the continent’s second-biggest grower and exporter of the beans after Ethiopia, consumes about 3 percent of its annual crop, the Africa Fine Coffee Association says.

Robusta beans, used in espressos and instant drinks, accounted for 70 percent of Ugandan exports last season, according to the authority.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.