Uganda’s coffee exports rise by 49.19% in April 2021 earning US$50.02m

UGANDA – Uganda’s coffee exports in the month of April 2021 amounted to 537,538 60-kilo bags worth US$ 50.02 million (Shs176.76bn), reflecting a 49.19% and 35.38 % rise in quantity and value respectively, compared to the same month last year.

However, this was a decline from last month’s earning of US$53.52 million from a total of 572,839 60-kilo bags of coffee sold in March 2021.

According to Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA), the month’s exports comprised of 464,544 bags of Robusta valued at US$39.08 million and 72,994 bags of Arabica valued at US$ 10.94 million.

“By comparing quantity of coffee exported by type in the same month of last Coffee Year (April 2020), Robusta increased by 76.64% and 73.09% in quantity and value respectively.

“On the other hand, Arabica exports decreased in both quantity and value by 24.98% and 23.86% respectively,” the report says.

Just like last month, the decrease in Arabica monthly exports compared to the previous year is attributed mostly to the off-year biennial cycle characteristic of Arabica production.

Global coffee production for 2020/21 is estimated to increase by 0.5% to 169.63 million bags while the consumption is estimated to increase by 1.3% to 166.35 million bags.

Uganda Coffee Development Authority

While the increasing Robusta exports during the month was due to newly planted coffee which has started yielding supported by favourable weather.

“This was also compounded by a positive trend in global coffee prices which influenced exporters to release their stocks. The decrease in value of Arabica coffee was due to low volumes exported,” the report adds.

An aggregate statistic of the country’s earnings in the last one year, has indicated that Uganda clinched US$ 536.09 million in the 12 months from May 2020-April 2021, a rise of 18.05% from previous year.

This was from 5,825,562 60-kilo bags of coffee exported, an increase of 11.9% from 4,934,801 bags sold the previous year.

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Export Trading Company features a one of the leading exporters

According to the report, Ugacof (U) Ltd had the highest market share of exports with 15.17% compared to 13.89% in March 2021.

The coffee exporter was followed by Olam Uganda, Touton Uganda, Louis Dreyfus Company, Quality Commodities, Kawacom, Kyagalanyi Coffee Ltd, Grainpulse Ltd, Export Trading Company, and Besmark Coffee Company.

The month saw the entry of new player in the top ten list such as Export Trading Company and Besmark Coffee Company, reflecting competition at the exporter level.

Meanwhile the leading buyers of Uganda’s coffee during the month were Olam International, Sucafina, Ecom Agro Industrialist, Volcafe, Koninklijke Douwe Egberts, Bercher Coffee Consulting, Bernhard Rothfos, Hamburg Coffee, American Coffee, and Aldwami Company.

In terms of region, Italy maintained the highest market share with 28.74% compared with 25.41% last month.

It was followed by Germany 15.11%, India 12.58%, Belgium 7.90%, and Sudan 6.42%.

Coffee exports to Africa amounted to 81,308 bags, a market share of 15% compared to 106,162 bags (19%) the previous month.

“African countries included Sudan, Morocco, Kenya, Algeria and Egypt. Europe remained the main destination for Uganda’s coffees with a 61% imports share,” the report says.

Global coffee consumption projected to rise

Meanwhile, World coffee exports amounted to 11.94 million bags in March 2021 compared with 11.66 million in March 2020.

“Exports for the first 6 months of coffee year 2020/21 (October 2020-March 2021) increased by 3.5% to 65.4 million bags from 63.2 million bags the previous period (October 2019-March 2020),” the report says.

Global coffee production for 2020/21 is estimated to increase by 0.5% to 169.63 million bags while the consumption is estimated to increase by 1.3% to 166.35 million bags.

The consumption rate that had been affected by the pandemic in 2019/20 is regaining its normal trend as more countries take on vaccination and ease lockdowns, indicates the report.

UCDA says coffee exports in Uganda are projected to be 540,000 bags as the main harvesting period in Greater Masaka and South Western regions is on.

Also, increased exports would be fuelled by increasing global coffee prices which will interest exporters to continue releasing their stocks as in the previous month.

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