COMMODITY TRADE

Uganda coffee exports plunge 20% in February as drought cuts yields

Uganda coffee sales drop as drought bites

In Summary

•Uganda is Africa's biggest exporter of coffee followed by Ethiopia

•The east African country exported 448,957 60-kilogram bags in February

Uganda's coffee exports in February plunged 20% compared to shipments from the same period a year ago, the state-run sector regulator said on Saturday, attributing the decline to drought that cut yields in some parts of the country.

The east African country exported 448,957 60-kilogram bags in February, 20% lower than volumes exported in February last year, the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) said in a report published on Saturday.

Uganda is Africa's biggest exporter of coffee followed by Ethiopia and earnings from the beans constitute a major of foreign exchange for the country.

UCDA said the decline in exports were mainly on account of low yields of robusta, the coffee variety that Uganda predominantly cultivates.

"The decrease in robusta exports was mainly attributed to lower yields this year that was characterised by drought in some regions," UCDA said.

Last month, Uganda blamed its withdrawal from an International Coffee Organisation (ICO) agreement on what it said are unfair tariffs and other barriers that restrict export of processed coffee to Europe and elsewhere.