Uganda’s coffee exports have continued to grow in both volume and value in the past 12 months, despite prevailing bad weather and policy changes, the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) has announced.
According to a June report by UCDA, the country’s coffee exports for the past year were 6.26 million 60kg bag worth $862.28 million, up from 6.08 million bags worth $559.16 million the previous year.
The increase comes despite a prolonged drought and a decision to exit the International Coffee Organisation (ICO). In June alone, two months after the decision to withdraw from the ICO, the country exported 530,365 bags of coffee valued at $ 83.79 million.
In June 2021, Robusta decreased by 21.44 percent in quantity but increased by 21.37 percent in value. Arabica exports increased by 62.77 percent and 174.46 percent in quantity and value respectively.
“The decrease in Robusta exports was mainly attributed to lower yields this year that were characterised by drought in most regions. This led to a shorter main harvest season in Central and Eastern regions and reduced harvests from Greater Masaka and South-Western regions whose peak is expected in July 2022. The increase in Arabica coffee exports is due to an on-year cycle characteristic of Arabica coffee production,” the report notes.
Europe remained the main destination for Uganda’s coffees at 65 percent of imports. Italy maintained the highest market share of 40 percent, followed by Germany at 13 percent, Sudan at 10 percent, India at seven percent and Morocco at four percent. According to the report, 74 percent of the total volume was exported by 10 exporters, out of 55 companies.
“Coffee exports to Africa amounted to 109,506 bags, a market share of 21 percent compared to 70,782 bags the previous month. African countries included Algeria, Sudan, Morocco, Tunisia, South Africa, Tanzania, Egypt and Kenya,” the report says.