KAMPALA (Reuters) - Uganda expects to export 200,000 60-kg bags of coffee in October, a 6 percent increase compared to the same month last year, the state-run Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) said on Thursday.
The east African country is one of Africa’s leading exporters of the beans and heavily relies on the crop for its foreign exchange earnings.
Uganda primarily cultivates robusta variety.
“Coffee exports in October 2011 are projected at 200,000 bags as exporters and other players prepare for the new season 2011/12 and also continue offloading their stocks to fulfil contractual obligations with buyers,” UCDA said in a sector performance report seen by Reuters on Thursday.
According to the report the country shipped a total of 3.15 million bags of coffee in the 2010/2011 (Oct-Sept) year and fetched $448.9 million.
Exports last year totaled 2.67 million bags and earned $266.7 million.
“The improvement (in exports) is more pronounced in robusta, especially from the south and southwestern crop with a timely rainy season that salvaged the crop from the earlier severe drought,” the report said.
The south and southwestern region accounts for 45 percent of Uganda’s annual coffee production while central and eastern region produces the remaining 55 percent.
UCDA forecasts Uganda will export 3 million bags of coffee in the 2011/2012 coffee season due to good weather.