Uganda expects its July coffee exports to fall 26 percent to 280,000 60-kg bags compared with the same month in 2011 due to farmers holding off sales in expectation of better prices, the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) said on Monday.
The east African country, Africa’s leading exporter of the beans, shipped 375,843 bags in July last year.
“Farmers and exporters are still holding on to their stocks as they anticipate better prices at various levels of the value chain,” state-run UCDA said in a monthly report.
Farm gate prices for processed Robusta cherries averaged 4,000 shillings ($1.61) per kilo compared with 4,500 a year ago, UCDA said.
Cumulatively, Uganda has exported about 2 million bags of coffee in the first nine months of the 2011/2012 (Oct-Sep) season valued at $293.6 million compared with 2.1 million bags worth $300.6 million in the same period a year ago.
South and southwestern regions, which produce 45 percent of the country’s coffee crop, are currently at the peak of a harvest season.
Uganda primarily cultivates the Robusta variety and substantially relies on exports of coffee for its foreign exchange earnings. ($1 = 2480.0000 Ugandan shillings).