Coffee exports from Uganda, Africa's largest exporter of coffee beans, increased by 24% on the year in April as farmers released more stocks to the market due to improved prices, the state-run Uganda Coffee Development Authority said Monday.
Shipments jumped to 326,793 60-kilogram bags, up from 264,065 bags exported in the same month last season, UCDA said. April exports also jumped 32% over the 247,838 bags exported in March.
Farm gate prices for robusta beans, generally used in instant coffee and blends increased by around 6% in April, inducing farmers and exporters to release more stocks.
Concerns over robusta availability in global markets are mounting due to anticipated lower output in India and Indonesia following a severe drought, pushing prices to multi-year highs.
Cumulative coffee shipments in the first seven months of the 2015-16 season increased 8% to 2 million bags, setting the country on course to register record exports. Robusta shipments, which account for more than 70% of the total exports, jumped 4% to 1.4 million bags.
Uganda expects coffee output in the 2015-2016 season to be a record 4.8 million bags, aided by favorable weather conditions and new plantings.