* Purchases by grinders up nearly 11 pct for year so far
* 2011/12 robusta coffee season ends slightly down
YAOUNDE Dec 20 Sic-Cacaos, Cameroon's main local cocoa grinder, bought 20,031 tonnes of beans by the end of November since the start of the season on Aug. 1, according to statistics from the National Cocoa and Coffee Board (NCCB) that were confirmed by the company.
The figures show purchases for the year so far are up 10.77 percent compared with the same stage last year.
Data showed that the firm, a subsidiary of Swiss-based chocolate manufacturer Barry Callebaut AG, bought 4,891 tonnes of beans during the month, down from 6,860 tonnes at the same stage last year.
A second grinder, Chocolaterie Confisserie du Cameroun (CHOCOCAM), which bought 39 tonnes in the month of November last year, did not buy any for same month this year.
Meanwhile, robusta coffee exports for the 2011/12 season totalled 29,498 tonnes, some 0.20 percent down from the previous year, according to provisional statistics provided by the NCCB.
NCCB data also showed that Cameroon had exported 526 tonnes of arabica coffee by the end of November since the 2012/13 season began in early October. (Reporting by Tansa Musa; Editing by David Lewis and Alison Birrane)