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Uganda Earns Sh243B From Coffee

by Wangah Wanyama
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By Sarah Nabakooza

In a year-end analysis, coffee exports for December 2023 painted a nuanced picture, showing both quantity decline and value increase.

According to official data from the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA), coffee exports for the closing month of December 2023 showcased a mixed performance as the nation exported 401,336 60-kilo bags, totaling $65.94m (sh243.38b).

 A detailed breakdown reveals 337,026 bags of Robusta, valued at $52.84m (sh195.79b), and 64,310 bags of Arabica, valued at $13.10m (sh48.37b). In a comparative analysis by type in December 2022, Robusta witnessed a positive upswing with a 1.68% increase in quantity and a substantial 30.32% surge in both quantity and value. Conversely, Arabica exports experienced a decline, registering a decrease of 26.38% in quantity and a corresponding 31.02% decline in both quantity and value.

Speaking to New Vision, Emmanuel Iyamulemye, the Managing Director of the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA), said that the monthly performance of coffee exports fell short of the previous year, primarily attributed to delays in the harvest season caused by persistent rains.

“The inclement weather not only hindered timely harvesting but also led to a delayed drying process for the newly harvested coffee. Additionally, a smaller-than-usual harvest in the Elgon region further contributed to the overall decline in export performance,” he said.

The data further reveals that in December 2023, the distribution of Uganda’s coffee exports showcased distinct market shares across various destinations. Italy retained its position with the highest market share at 39.45%, a significant increase from the November 2023 27.68%. Following closely, India secured a market share of 12.05%, up from 7.59% in November. Germany held 11.47% (down from 20.50%), Morocco accounted for 6.12% (compared to 2.86%), and Spain maintained a share of 5.96%, a slight uptick from 5.53% in the preceding month.

The top 10 primary destinations for Uganda’s coffee collectively held a substantial market share of 92.25% in December, marking a notable increase from the previous month’s figure of 86.72%. This underscores the concentration of Uganda’s coffee exports in key markets and highlights the growing significance of these destinations in the overall distribution network.

In December, coffee exports to Africa totaled 56,253 bags, securing a market share of 14%, a slight decrease from the previous month’s 16%. African nations importing Uganda’s coffee included Sudan, Morocco, Algeria, South Africa, Egypt, and Kenya.

Meanwhile, Europe maintained its position as the primary destination for Uganda’s coffees, commanding a 67% share of imports, slightly lower than the 68% reported in November 2023. This reaffirms the continent’s pivotal role in Uganda’s coffee export landscape.

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