Coffee beans are cooled after roasting. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

INTERNATIONAL –  Uganda’s coffee exports dipped slightly in January compared to the same month a year earlier, according to a report by the state-run regulator Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA).

Uganda exported 395,097 60-kg bags of coffee in January, slightly lower than the 401,930 bags shipped in same month last year, according to a UCDA report seen by Reuters on Monday.

UCDA did not give a reason for the slight decline.

Uganda is Africa’s leading exporter of the beans. Earnings from the crop are one of the East African country’s biggest sources of foreign exchange.

In October 2018, Uganda’s coffee farmers started their first harvest of the season with expectations of a bumper crop in Africa’s top exporter of the beans.

The harvest, which started this month in the main producing central and eastern regions, has benefited from good rains earlier in the year. The country’s coffee authority last week said output in the 2018-19 season may climb 11 percent to 5.1 million 60-kilogram (132-pound) bags because of the better growing conditions.