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Uganda coffee exports rise 56 percent in May

Uganda’s coffee exports rose 56 percent in the year to May, after farmers sold huge volumes to prevent further losses as prices for the bean tumbled, a source at the state-run Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) said on Wednesday.

The UCDA source said Uganda exported 393,783-kg bags of coffee in May, up from 252,548 bags shipped in the same period last year.

“Prices both at the international level and locally have been declining in recent months and I think farmers are not optimistic,” said David Muwonge, marketing and production manager at National Union of Coffee Agribusinesses and Farm Enterprises (NUCAFE).

“They’re calculating they (prices) might continue dropping in the coming months so they decided to offload large volumes to limit any future losses from low prices.”

Muwonge said a kilogramme of dry robusta cherries was going for between 4,600 Ugandan shillings ($1.78) and 4,800 a few months ago, but has now declined to between shillings 4,000-4,200.

A UCDA source says coffee exports in May fetched $48.3 million, compared to $35.8 million earned in the same month a year ago.
From: New Vision