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Uganda August coffee exports up

Uganda, one of Africa's leading exporters of coffee, said on Wednesday exports of the beans rose in August compared to a year ago following good rains that have fuelled forecasts of higher exports this season compared to last.

The east African country exported 309,303 60-kg bags of coffee in August, up from 217,284 bags in the same month last year, said a source at the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA).

Last month Uganda sold 375,843 bags of the beans.

"The yields from south and southwestern Uganda especially toward the end of the season there have been considerably good," the source said.

"And I think it has to do with a fine balance of good rains and spells of sunshine the region has had throughout the crop's cycle from flowering all the way to harvesting and drying the beans," the source added.

South and Southwestern Uganda account for 45 percent of Uganda's annual coffee production while central and the eastern parts of the country account for the rest.

UCDA expects Uganda to ship about 2.8 million bags of coffee this season, slightly up from 2009/2010's 2.7 million bags.

The current coffee season ends this month and Uganda, which mainly cultivates robusta coffee also forecasts it will export 3 million bags in 2011/2012 (Oct-Sept) season.

The source said recent landslides in eastern Uganda, which killed 30 people, also destroyed about 300 acres of coffee trees but that the damage would have a negligible impact on the region's out in the next season.

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