KAMPALA - Uganda's coffee exports in January rose 23% compared to volumes shipped in the same month last year, according to a report from the state-run Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) seen by Reuters on Saturday.

UCDA attributed the rise to higher releases of stocks from warehouses by exporters eager to meet a gap in global supplies of robusta beans.

The east African country exported 494,226 60-kilogram bags of coffee, 23% higher than the amount exported in the same month last year, UCDA said.

Coffee is one of Uganda's largest sources of foreign exchange and the country is Africa's biggest exporter of the beans followed by Ethiopia. The country predominantly cultivates the robusta variety.

In the report, UCDA said during the month exporters off-loaded larger volumes of stocks from warehouses "as the global robusta market started correcting upwards on account of reduced global supplies from major origins, Vietnam and Brazil."

In the twelve months to January Uganda earned a total of $865 million from 5.7 million bags of coffee exports, UCDA said.

(Reporting by Elias Biryabarema Editing by Mark Potter)