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Uganda coffee exports may drop 30%, authority says.

KAMPALA -- Coffee exports from Uganda may drop 30% this month as some traders are speculatively holding onto their stocks amid low yields caused by bad weather, the Uganda Coffee Development Authority said.

Shipments by Uganda, Africa's biggest producer of the Robusta variety, are poised to fall to 185,000 60-kilogram (132- pound) bags, from 262,793 bags a year earlier, the authority said today in a draft report, details of which were provided to Bloomberg News today from the capital, Kampala.

Uganda is Africa's second-biggest producer of coffee, after Ethiopia. Robusta accounts for about 85% of the country's annual output and the country earned $243.6 million from the crop last season, compared with $291.3 million in 2008-09 because of a decline in volume, the agency said.

Coffee export earnings rose 19% last month from a year earlier because of improved global prices, it said. Robusta for March delivery climbed to $2,259 a metric ton on NYSE Liffe in London on Feb. 3, the highest since at least August 2009, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Export revenue from the beans in January climbed to $29.9 million from 215,180 60-kilogram bags, compared with $25.15 million from 263,014 bags a year earlier, according to the agency.

The East African nation's coffee exports in January retreated 18% after rains interrupted harvesting and drying, and crops were damaged by mealy bugs and twig borers, the authority said. Shipments from Oct. 1 through January fell 2.3% to 907,665 bags from a year earlier, according to a tally of UCDA figures by Bloomberg News. Exports in the 2010-11 season, which runs through to September, may rise by 16% to 3.1 million bags, from the previous harvest because of an expected improvement in the weather, the agency said on Sept. 20.
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Title Annotation:World News: Coffee and Tea Reports from the Front Line
Comment:Uganda coffee exports may drop 30%, authority says.(World News: Coffee and Tea Reports from the Front Line)
Publication:Tea & Coffee Trade Journal
Geographic Code:6UGAN
Date:Feb 1, 2011
Words:304
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