Coffee exports from Rwanda saw a sharp rise between January and November on account of the positive trend of prices for the crop which gained between 35 and 40 percent on the international market, Ocir café, the coffee authority said yesterday.
Last year the coffee industry was hit by dwindling production and prices which Ocir-café attributed to a poor coffee cycle. Export volumes slid by 18 percent last year as prices declined by 4 percent.
However the authority said that coffee exports in the eleven months of 2010 rose by 27.45 percent to $51m (Rwf30.4 billion) from $37 million (Rwf22.1 billion) in the whole year 2009.
In volume terms shipments from Rwanda reached 20,000 metric tonnes compared with 16,000 metric tonnes because intensified use of fertilizers, renewed plantations and expansion of cultivated area as well as a favorable coffee cycle.
“We expected to see Rwanda coffee exports and production doing better than this but we had shortfalls owing to bad weather,” Alex Kanyankole, the Director General of Ocir-café told Business Times.
“The major impact is drown from the excellent crop prices on the international market, the yearly value as of December is estimated to reflect an all-time record in the last 13 years,”.
He said Ocir-cafe did not exploit the positive trend of prices on the international market to negotiate better prices.
The current price per kg is $3.6-4 for fully washed coffee and $2.5 -3.4 for ordinary coffee.
Rwanda plans to increase her coffee sales in China and the Middle East
“There is “brilliant demand” from Middle Eastern countries and also China, where we intend to put more efforts to explore the market,” Kanyankole said.
Coffee is one of Rwanda’s traditional exports and also one of the country’s top export revenue earners.