Coffee exports in May 2022 amounted to 455,166 60-kilo bags worth $73.01m (sh270b), a major performance amidst global economic strife.
There was, however, a slight increase in earnings compared to April 2022, when Uganda garnered $70.85m (sh256.75bn) earned out of the 407,762, 60-kilo bags that were shipped out.
According to the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA), the sector regulator, the exports comprised 350,312 bags of Robusta valued at $47.31m and 104,854 bags of Arabica valued at $25.
“This was a decrease of 7.75% in quantity, but an increase of 55.15% in value compared to the same month last year,” reads part of the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) monthly report for May.
Comparing the quantity of coffee exported by type in the same month of last Coffee Year (May 2021), Robusta decreased by 18.35% in quantity but increased by 26.21% in value.
Arabica exports increased by 62.86% and 168.41% in quantity and value respectively.
UCDA attributes the fall in Robusta exports to lower yields this year that was characterized by drought in some regions.
“This led to a shorter main harvest season in Central and Eastern regions,” the report says.
It, however, attributed the increase in Arabica coffee exports to an on-year cycle characteristic of Arabica coffee production.
UCDA says coffee exports for the 12 months (June 2021-May 2022) amounted to 6,346,594 60-kilo bags worth $837.14m compared to 5,880,179 60-kilo bags valued at $540.54m the previous year (June 2020- May 2021).
This represents a 7.93% and 54.87% increase in both quantity and value respectively.
The average export price was $2.67 per kilo, 23 cents lower than $2.90 per kilo realized in April 2022. This was $1.08 higher than in May 2021 ($1.59/kilo).
Robusta exports accounted for 77% of total exports higher than 68% in April 2022. The average Robusta price was US$ 2.25 per kilo, 1 cent lower than the previous month.
“Washed Robusta and Organic Robusta fetched the highest and second-highest price of US$ 2.79 per kilo and US$ 2.48 per kilo, a premium of 43 and 12 US cents over conventional Screen 18, respectively.
Uganda is Africa’s largest coffee exporter followed by Ethiopia and the commodity is a leading foreign exchange earner.