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February 16, 2010

Ugandan coffee exports may decline by 22% in February

by Fred Ojambo

Uganda, Africa’s biggest producer of robusta coffee, may export 22 percent less of the beans this month because of lower yields caused by last year’s drought, the Uganda Coffee Development Authority said.

Shipments may decline to 250,000 60-kilogram (132-pound) bags, from 321,355 bags a year earlier, spokesman David Kiwanuka said.

“February is pegged at 250,000 bags based on field reports that point to low stocks at virtually all levels,” Kiwanuka wrote. The forecast is 5.4 percent lower than the 264,314 bags exported in January.

Uganda expects to produce 3.1 million bags of coffee this season, below a forecast of 3.3 million to 3.4 million bags given on Oct. 12, Reuters reported today, citing an unidentified person at the Uganda Coffee Development Authority.

The East African country experienced a drought last year which the agriculture ministry attributed to climate change.

Uganda is Africa’s second-largest producer of coffee, after Ethiopia. Robusta accounts for about 85 percent of the East African nation’s annual output.

BusinessWeek

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