UGANDA – Uganda’s coffee exports experienced a notable downturn in March 2024 compared to the previous month, according to the latest report from the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA).  

The report revealed that coffee exports for March amounted to 329,686 60-kilo bags, valued at US$64.74 million, marking a substantial decline from the 434,583 bags exported in February 2024. 

The decrease in exports was accompanied by a sharp fall in value, with March exports totaling US$17.8 million less than February’s exports, dropping from US$82.56 million to US$64.74 million.  

The March 2024 exports comprised 244,975 bags of Robusta valued at US$46.01 million and 84,711 bags of Arabica valued at US$18.72 million. 

The UCDA report highlighted that the decrease in export volume compared to the same month last year was due to various factors, including a smaller harvest in the Elgon region, delays in the onset of the harvest season, and a shortage of shipping containers. 

“This was a decrease of 32.40 percent and 9.45 percent in quantity and value, respectively, compared to the same month last year,” the UCDA report reads. 

Despite the monthly decline, coffee exports for the twelve months ending March 2024 totaled 5.90 million bags worth US$ 993.63 million, representing a 2.42 percent increase in quantity and a significant 16.91 percent increase in value compared to the previous year. 

The report also indicated changes in export prices, with the average export price per kilo increasing to US$ 3.27, up from US$ 3.17 in February 2024.  

Robusta exports continued to dominate, accounting for 74 percent of total exports, while Kyagalanyi Coffee Ltd maintained the highest market share of 10.21 percent. 

“The monthly coffee export volume was lower than the previous year due to a smaller harvest in the Elgon region coupled with delays in the onset of the harvest season and a shortage of shipping containers,” the report reads. 

Italy retained the highest market share among Uganda’s coffee export destinations, followed by India, Germany, Belgium, and Sudan. Europe remained the primary destination for Uganda’s coffees, with a 66 percent import share. 

Looking at global coffee production trends, world coffee production for 2023/24 is forecasted to reach 171.4 million bags, with increased output expected in Brazil, Colombia, and Ethiopia.  

Global exports are projected to increase to 119.92 million bags, driven by strong shipments from Brazil, while global consumption is forecasted to reach 169.5 million bags. 

Despite challenges in March, UCDA projects coffee exports to rebound, with exports projected to reach 400,000 60-kilobags. 

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