Uganda: Exports Rebound After Three Months of Decline

Export earnings have rebounded after three months of recording a decline.

Earning, mainly from coffee, fish, flowers and cement, some of which had experienced some volatility, recovered during the period ended June to fetch Uganda growth of at least Shs172b.

According to data from Bank of Uganda, Uganda exported goods worth $337m (Shs1.2 trillion) up from $290m (Shs1 trillion) in May.

The earnings, which grew by 16.6 per cent could have been influenced by the easing of the lockdown that had been effected in the three months running from late March to June.

During the period, Middle East and Comesa, came out as the leading export destinations with some minimal exports recorded in the previous traditional market destinations such the European Union and US.

The Bank of Uganda report shows that gold, coffee, fish and fish products, sugar, tea and maize were some of the most exported commodities in the period.

Although Uganda is not known to have large deposits of gold, it has for almost two years now been the country's largest foreign exchange earner, fetching a total of $161.3m (Shs596b) up from $126.3m (Shs467b) in May.

A total of 3,012 kilogrammes of gold, according to the data, were exported out of the country up from 2,470 kilogrammes in May.

Most of Uganda's gold is exported to the Middle East with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as the major market.

Gold re-exports

Mr John Lwere, the Uganda Export Promotion Board trade and information executive, said the growing export earnings could be re-exports from DR Congo since the country's deposits are still little.

Earnings from coffee stood at $39.9m (Shs147b) though they were slightly lower than the $42.48m (Shs159b) that was recorded in May.

During the period, Uganda exported 420,373-60 kilogrammes down from 437,597-60 kilogramme bags in May.

Uganda remains Africa's leading coffee exporter with production growing from 5 million-60 kilogramme bags to 7 million-60 kilogramme bags.

Fish and related products earned Uganda $10.6m (Shs39.2b) up from $9.78m (Shs36.6b) in May.

A total of 2,071 tonnes up from 1,410 tonnes were exported mainly to European Union, US, China and parts of the region, mainly DR Congo.

Flowers, which had suffered under the lockdown, recovered to fetch $6.04m (Shs22b) up from $4.30m (Shs16b) in May.

Cement

Cement exports have recovered after months of decline since the beginning of the year.

Cement exports had declined since the closure of the Rwanda-Uganda border.

However, Bank of Uganda data indicates there was an increase in both value and volumes in June.

During the period, cement worth $6.4m (Shs23.6b) was exported up from $5.5m (Shs20b) in May.

In June, a total of 51,493 tonnes of cement were exported up from 42,144 tonnes in May.

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