KAMPALA, Oct 14 (AFP): Uganda's coffee export earnings surged by more than 40 per cent in the past year due to the global rise in prices despite a slight decline in domestic production, the industry authority said Friday.
Between September 30, 2004 and the end of last month, export of the beans brought in 162 million dollars (135 million euros) compared with 116 million dollars (96 million euros) in the same period over 2003-2004, it said.
"Despite the slight drop in volume during the year, the corresponding value rose by 40.4 per cent from 115.7 million dollars in 2003-04 to 162.1 million dollars," the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) said in a report.
The agency attributed the rise to a general improvement in world coffee prices over the past year caused by an international deficit caused in part by smaller than average yields by leading producers like Brazil and Vietnam.
It said the main importers of Ugandan coffee remained the European Union, which purchased more than 70 per cent of its exports, while Sudan retained the number two spot and was the leading African consumer.
Coffee was once Uganda's main foreign exchange earner, but volatility in the international market drove prices down and the commodity plummeted from an 80 per cent share of export revenue to less than 25 per cent.