Uganda: Coffee Exports Slide Back After Hitting Highest Peak

Ugandan coffee reaches record high sales (file photo)

Uganda's coffee export earnings and volume slid back from its highest record in May by 13 per cent, a Bank of Uganda (BoU) monthly report has shown.

According to the BoU monthly report export performance, in May Uganda shipped coffee worth $47.1million (Shs167bn), down from $53.5m (Shs189b) earned in March.

"This saw the country earn $6.4 million (Shs22b) revenue less than what was earned in March when the country's monthly receipts hit the peak ever," the report showed.

In this period in review, the volumes went down to 494,050 (60) kilogramme bags ,down from 572,898 (60) kilogramme bags recorded in March.

This indicated that the country exported 78,848 bags less compared to the previous volumes exported in March.

Uganda produces and exports two brands of coffee mainly Robusta and Arabica.

Robusta takes more than 80 per cent of the market share while Arabica takes the remaining 20 per cent share.

The report shows that in May, the country exported a total of 429,374 bags of Robusta coffee valued at $37.57m (Shs133b). While Arabica coffee exports in May were 64,676 bags worth $9.63m (Shs34b).

Cumulatively, looking at the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) exports for the last one year (June 2020-May 2021) amounted to 5.8m kilogramme bags.

This was over 855,000 kilogramme bags more than 5.0m kilogramme bags the country exported in year ending June last year.

Reactions

According to UCDA, the June volume is projected to go back to the 500,000 bags trend as the main harvesting period in the greater Masaka and South Western regions peaks.

"The increased exports would be fueled by increasing global coffee process which will enthuse exporters to release the stocks," UCDA's executive director Emmanuel Iyamulemye noted.

According to UCDA, the dry weather will also play a big part in accelerating the procurement of the coffee from the countryside.

Global exports

Globally, 11.41 million coffee bags were exported, up from 11.29m bags exported in March 2021. This was a 4.1 per cent increase.

Covid-19 second wave

However, UCDA's executive director Emmanuel Iyamulemye expressed fear that the second wave lockdown may have impact on the logistics and might affect the export volumes.

"This is happening at the already fueling scarcity of containers for the transportation of the coffee from Mombasa to the destination," Iyamulemye added.

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