Uganda: Gold Makes 44% of Uganda's Export Earnings

4 February 2021

Gold massively outperformed other export with cumulative earnings hitting $1.7b (Shs6.3 trillion) for the period between December 2019 and November 2020.

The earnings represent a 44 per cent contribution out of total exports, which during the period stood at $3.8b (Shs14.3 trillion), according to data from Bank of Uganda.

Gold has in the last five years become Uganda's largest export overtaking coffee, which during the period earned $509m (Shs1.8 trillion), representing a percentage contribution of 13 per cent.

Fish and fish products, which is recovering from a slump, fetched $130m (Shs481b), representing a 3 per cent contribution.

Maize, which is most the exported commodity within the East African region, earned $94m (Shs347b) with a percentage contribution of 2.4 per cent while tea and cocoa fetched $77m and $74m in earnings, respectively.

They each contributed 1.9 per cent to the export share during the period, according to Bank of Uganda.

Gold exports have been growing rapidly in the last five years with re-exports from DR Congo taking the largest share of the commodity's export volumes.

During the same period during 2018/19, gold exports earned $1.2b (Shs4.5 trillion), which represented a 30 per cent contribution to the total share of $4b (Shs15 trillion) exports earnings.

The growth had been an improvement on the $476b (Shs1.7 trillion) earnings, which the commodity had posted in the same period in 2017/18 and 2016/17 - $418m (Shs1.5 trillion) export.

Uganda exports much of its gold to the Middle East with UAE being the most favoured destination.

At least 96.01 per cent of Uganda's exports to the Middle East are gold, according to data from Uganda Bureau of Statistics.

The rapid growth of Uganda's gold exports was first noticed between December 2015 and November 2016 when the country earned $365.2m (Shs1.3 trillion).

Uganda's gold exports, according to Bank of Uganda, during December 2019 and November 2020 grew to 34,450 kilogrammes from 27,025 kilgrammes in the same period in 2018/19.

This was a growth from 12,430 kilogramme that were exported in the period between December 2017 and November 2016 and 10,679 kilogrammes exported in the same period in 2016/2015.

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