Uganda fetches higher amount from January’s coffee export despite decline in traded volumes

UGANDA – Italy, Europe’s third largest coffee consuming country, has maintained its top position as the leading importer of Uganda’s coffee in January 2022.

During the period under the review, Italy maintained its highest market share in the trade, purchasing 30.03% of the traded coffee volumes by the East African country.

It was followed by Sudan which bought 17.02%, Germany 10.15%, Belgium 6.34% and Spain 5.61%.

It is evident that Europe remained the main destination for Uganda’s coffees with a 58% imports share.

However, coffee exports to Africa amounted to 97,554 bags, a market share of 24% compared to 88,546 bags (16%) the previous month. African importers included Algeria, Sudan, Morocco, Egypt, South Africa, South Sudan and Kenya.

Coffee being one of Uganda’s main foreign exchange earning produce, fetched US$61.98m from export of 402,212 60-kilo bags worth US$ 61.98 million, a 9.8% decline in quantity from the corresponding period, the previous year but the value was 56.44% higher.

The rise in earning is attributed to increase in the produce’s global prices which was triggered by shortage of shipping containers in Vietnam and weather-related concerns in Brazil.

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According to reports by the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA), the total exported amount comprised of 315,265 bags of Robusta valued at US$40.07 million and 86,947 bags of Arabica valued at US$ 21.91 million.

By comparing quantity of coffee exported by type in the same month of last coffee year, although Robusta decreased by 20.76% in quantity, it increased by 22.62% in value, while Arabica exports increased by 80.84% and 215.67% in quantity and value respectively.

The decrease in Robusta exports was mainly attributed to correction where two consecutive good harvests were associated with lower yields this year also characterized by a drought in some regions.

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This led to a shorter main harvest season in Central and Eastern regions as well as a short fly crop in Greater Masaka and South-Western regions. Shortage of containers and congestion at the Malaba boarder also affected exports.

The Increase in Arabica coffee exports is due to an on-year cycle characteristic of Arabica coffee production.

Uganda coffee exports for the 12 months (February 2021-January 2021) amounted to 6,722,115 60-kilo bags worth US$ 741.03 million compared to 5,465,184 60-kilo bags valued at US$ 511.66 million the previous year.

This represents 23.26% and 38.18% increase in both quantity and value respectively.

Looking at the global performance, world production for 2020/21 coffee year is estimated to decrease by 0.1% to 168.88 million bags down from 169.02 million bags in Coffee Year 2019/20.

Global consumption is estimated to increase by 2% % to 167.68 million bags in 2020/21 coffee year compared to 164.46 million bags in 2019/20 coffee year.

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