Uganda exports US$53.52m worth of coffee in March, highest amount since beginning of 2021

UGANDA – Uganda exported a total of 572,839 60-kilo bags of coffee valued at US$ 53.52 million in March 2021, an increase of 19% and 16% in quantity and value respectively compared to the same month last year.

This is the highest amount the leading East African coffee exporter has earned since the beginning of the year as it fetched US$ 39.73 million in January and US$50.55 million in February 2021.

According to Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA), of the total bags sold, Robusta accounted for 494,223 bags valued at US$ 41.03 million while Arabica saw 78,616 bags valued at US$ 12.49 million exported.

“By comparing quantity of coffee exported by type in the same month of last Coffee Year (March 2020), Robusta increased by 26.93% and 23% in quantity and value respectively. On the other hand, Arabica exports decreased in both quantity and value by 14.16% and 2.26% respectively,” the report read in part.

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The decrease in Arabica monthly exports compared to the previous year has been attributed mostly to the off-year biennial cycle characteristic of Arabica production.

While the increase in Robusta exports during the month was on account of fruition of the newly planted coffee as well as favourable weather.

“This was also due to a positive trend in global coffee prices which influenced exporters to offload more coffee,” the report says.

The country’s coffee exports for 12 months (April 2020 to March 2021) totalled to 5.65 million bags worth US$ 523.07 million compared to 4.88 million bags worth US$ 479.81 million the previous year. This represents 16% and 11% increase in quantity and value respectively.

Exporters’ performance

The report has further highlighted that the top 10 export companies in the month of March 2021 held a market share of 77% compared to 74% the previous month.

Ugacof (U) Ltd had the highest market share with 13.89% compared to 12.84% in February 2021. It was followed by Ideal Coffee Commodities Ltd 11.14%; Olam Uganda Ltd 10.98%; Louis Dreyfus Company (U) Ltd 9.15%, Touton Uganda Ltd 8.70%, Kyagalanyi Coffee Ltd 7.60%, Kawacom Ltd 6.09%; and Grainpulse Ltd 3.40%.

Europe remained the main destination for Uganda’s coffees with a 61% imports share.

“There were changes in positions compared to last month reflecting competition at the exporter level. Out of the 44 exporters that performed, 17 exported Robusta Coffee only while 10 exported Arabica coffee only,” the report says.

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Foreign buyers of Uganda Coffee

The report has also shown a list of Ugandan coffee foreign buyers in March 2021 with the top 10 buyers holding a market share of 62.24% of total exports, higher than 58.56% the previous month.

Sucafina led with a market share of 14.15% compared to 12.68% in February 2021. It was followed by Olam International 11.55%; Volcafe 7.25%; Altasheel Import & Export Enterprises 6.11%; Ecom Agro Industrialist 5.94%; Luigi Lavazza 3.54%; Indus Coffee 3.49%; Aldwami Company 3.48% , Bernhard Rothfos 3.48% and Koninklijke Douwe 3.26%.

During the period under review, Italy maintained the highest market share with 25.41% compared with 28.12% last month. It was followed by Germany 15.32%, India 10.53%, Sudan 10% and Belgium 9.74%.

Europe remained the main destination for Uganda’s coffees with a 61% imports share.

Coffee exports to Africa amounted to 106,162 bags, a market share of 19% compared to 67,615 bags (12%) the previous month. African countries included Sudan, Morocco, Kenya, Algeria, Egypt , South Africa, Ethiopia and South Sudan.

Outlook for April 2021

According to UCDA, coffee exports are projected to be 500,000 bags in April 2021 as the main harvesting period in Greater Masaka and South Western regions intensifies.

“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’s report says.

World coffee exports amounted to 10.48 million bags in February 2021 compared with 11.16 million in February 2020.

Exports for the first 5 months of coffee year 2020/21 (October 2020-February 2021) increased by 2.5% to 52.81 million bags from 51.54 million bags the previous period (October 2019-February 2020).

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