Uganda’s coffee exports in the month of April 2018 dropped 9.3 per cent to 295,194 60-kilo bags, according to the latest report released by the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA).
The coffee exports which underperformed in April compared to March fetched the country the much needed foreign exchange of US $32.73 million which also showed a decline of 16.66 per cent when compared to March earnings.
UCDA attributes the decrease in both quantity and value to an end of the main season in the central and eastern regions.
The report shows that the country’s full year coffee exports (May 2017 to April 2018) totaled 4.66 million bags worth US $521 million.
Uganda, Africa’s number one exporter of coffee, grows both Arabica and Robusta types. Arabica, known for its sweet aroma is grown on the slopes of Mount Elgon in Eastern Uganda and fetches a high price on the world market compared to Robusta which is grown in the lowlands, even though the country exports the latter in bigger quantities than the former.
Ethiopia, Africa’s number one producer of coffee, consumes most of the crop domestically, leaving less for export.
Uganda’s coffee exports during the month of April went to EU countries (183,987 bags lower than 233,958 bags exported in the previous month). Sudan imported 37,714 bags (12.78 per cent) compared to 45,175 bags (13.55 pervcent) the previous month.
The USA imported 25,133 bags (8.51 per cent) compared to 12,283 bags (3.68 per cent). Morocco imported 12,797 bags (4.34 per cent) compared to 9,060 bags (2.72 percent) and India 12,598 bags (Coffee exports to Africa amounted to 55,621 bags, a market share of 18.84 per cent compared to 69,638 (20.89 per cent) bags the previous month.
Globally, coffee exports for March 2018 were 10.81m bags, which was 0.9 per cent lower compared to March 2017. Total exports for the first six months of coffee year 2017/18 were 59.96 million bags, which was a decrease of 0.6 per cent.
The 2017/18 global production is still estimated at 159.66m bags compared to 157.69 million bags, an increase of 1.2 per cent from last year.
Arabica production is estimated to reduce by 4.6 per cent to 97.42 million bags while Robusta is projected to increase by 12.1 per cent to 62.24m bags. Africa’s production is expected to increase by 3.2 per cent from last year with an output of 17.63 million bags.
Global consumption is projected to increase by 1.3 per cent at 159.92 million bags with major increases noted in Asia and Oceania countries and South America.