Agriculture News

Steady progress: Uganda’s annual coffee exports rise 18 percent

Uganda’s coffee exports for 12 months (May 2020 to April 2021) jumped 18 percent to 5.83 million bags, earning the country the much needed foreign exchange worth US 536.09 million, Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA), the manager of coffee activities in the country, says in its latest report.

In the previous year, UCDA says the country exported 4.93 million bags worth US$ 478.71 million, which value the report indicates rose by 12 percent when compared to the earning in the period under review.

Meanwhile, UCDA says 537,538 60-kilo bags of coffee valued at US$ 50.02 million were exported in April 2021. “This was an increase of 49 percent and 35 percent in quantity and value respectively compared to the same month last year.”

Uganda which produces both Arabica and Robusta coffee types is Africa’s top exporter of the crop, even though Ethiopia, Africa’s number one producer of the same crop consumes most it domestically.

However, by comparing the quantity of coffee exported by type in the same month of last Coffee Year (April 2020), UCDA says Robusta increased by 76.64 percent and 73.09 percent in quantity and value respectively. On the other hand, Arabica exports decreased in both quantity and value by 24.98 percent and 23.86 percent respectively.

“Just like last month, the decrease in Arabica monthly exports compared to the previous year is attributed mostly to the offyear biennial cycle characteristic of Arabica production. Increasing Robusta exports during the month was due to newly planted coffee which has started yielding supported by favourable weather as well. This was also compounded by a positive trend in global coffee prices which influenced exporters to release their stocks. The decrease in value of Arabica coffee was due to low volumes exported.”

Where Uganda’s coffee was sold in April

The destinations of Uganda’s coffee exports during the month of April 2021 were 38 with Italy maintaining the highest market share of 28.74 percent compared with 25.41 percent last month. It was followed by Germany 15.11 percent (15.32 percent), India 12.58 percent (10.53 percent) Belgium 7.90 percent (9.74 percent) and Sudan 6.42 percent (10 percent). The figures in brackets represent percentage market share held in March 2021.

Uganda’s coffee exports to Africa amounted to 81,308 bags, a market share of 15 percent compared to 106,162 bags (19 percent) the previous month. African countries included Sudan, Morocco, Kenya, Algeria and Egypt. Europe remained the main destination for Uganda’s coffees with a 61%imports share.

Outlook for May coffee exports

Uganda’s coffee exports for the month of May are projected to be 540,000 bags as the main harvesting period in Greater Masaka and South Western regions is on. “Increased exports would be fuelled by increasing global coffee prices which will interest exporters to continue releasing their stocks as in the previous month. Coffee harvesting and drying might be hampered by rain in the countryside,” UCDA notes.

Global picture

World coffee exports amounted to 11.94 million bags in March 2021 compared with 11.66 million in March 2020. Exports for the first six months of coffee year 2020/21 (October 2020-March 2021) increased by 3.5 percent to 65.4 million bags from 63.2 million bags the previous period (October 2019-March 2020).

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