Uganda’s export earnings dropped by two percent to US$ 254.8 million in September 2017 from US$ 259.9 million recorded in August 2017, largely on account of a decline in the volume of coffee, cotton and gold exports.
However, according to the monthly Performance the Economy Report for October, on an annual basis the export receipts grew by 11.8 percent to US$254.8 million in September from US$ 227.9 million in September, largely on account of an increase in the volume of Robusta coffee exports.
“The increment in the volume of coffee exports is credited to yielding of newly planted Robusta coffee, consequently growing Robusta exports by 98.9 per cent on an annual basis,” the report states.
According to the report the East African Community (EAC) remained the major destination for Uganda’s exports, in September, followed by the Rest of Africa, the European Union (EU) and the Middle East. Kenya was the biggest export destination in the EAC region (52.2 per cent) while United Arab Emirates accounted for 90.1 per cent of the exports to the Middle East.
On a monthly basis, exports to the EAC and the Rest of Africa grew by 10.5 per cent and 55.6 per cent, respectively while exports to the Middle East and European Union declined by 16.9 per cent and 18.3 per cent, respectively.
Compared to the same month last year, exports to the European Union, Rest of Africa and EAC increased by 60.7 per cent, 17.1 per cent and 5.6 per cent, respectively while exports to the Middle East declined by 34.1 per cent.
Total merchandise imports amounted to US$ 467.0 million in September 2017, a 17.1 per cent increment from US$ 398.7 million recorded in August 2017, largely on account of an increase in government project imports related to Hydro Power Projects. Total private sector imports registered an increase of 6.5 per cent to US$ 402.0 million in September 2017, from US$ 377.6 million in August 2017, supported by a rise in both oil and non-oil imports.
Compared to the same period last year, merchandise imports increased by 7.1 percent, driven by an increase in oil and non-oil private sector imports.
Asia was the largest source of imports for Uganda in September, accounting for 51.6 per cent of the total imports. Middle East and EAC accounted for 15.6 per cent and 14.4 per cent, respectively making them the second and third largest sources of imports. Imports from Asia were mainly from China (29.1 per cent), India (28.0 per cent) and Japan (18.8 per cent). Kenya and Tanzania accounted for 67.3 per cent and 13.7 per cent of the total imports from EAC region, respectively.
The analysis of the export and import figures for September shows that Uganda continues to experience unfavoruable balance of trade whereby the country imports more in value than it exports.