Uganda exported 4.57 million bags of coffee in the period June 2017 to May 2018, earning the country US $508 million as foreign exchange, the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) says in its latest report.

The report shows that the coffee bags exported by the country for the period under review were higher, when compared to 4.02 million bags exported in the previous year (June 2016-May 2017), fetching the country US$ 467 million. “This was an increase of 13.68 per cent and 8.88 per cent in quantity and value respectively,” it says.

According to the report, coffee exports in the year 2017/18 were about 2.95 bags compared to 2.98 bags in the period 2016/17. The 2017/18 exports earned the country US $ 323.5 million compared to US $ 360.3 million earned in the period 2016/17, representing a 10.20 per cent decrease in revenue.

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On the monthly basis, the report shows that coffee exports in May this year were 319,035 bags compared to 295,035 bags exported in April. The month of May coffee exports earned the country US $ 34.13 million.

Uganda, Africa’s largest exporter of the crop, grows both Arabica and Robusta coffee types, with the former fetching higher prices, though the latter type is exported in bigger volumes than the former.

Destination of Uganda’s coffee

According to UCDA, coffee exports to the European Union (EU) countries in the month of May were 205,215 bags higher than 183,987 bags exported in April, representing a 64.32 per cent of total exports. The EU was followed by Sudan with 34,990 bags (10.97 percent) compared to 37,714 bags (12.78 per cent) the previous month.

India imported 21,898 (6.86 per cent) compared to 12,598 (4.27 per cent), USA 16,500 bags (5.17 percent) compared to 25,133 (8.51 per cent) and Morocco 8,634 (2.71 per cent) compared to 12,797 (4.34 per cent). Coffee exports to Africa amounted to 48,095 bags, a market share of 15.08 per cent compared to 55,621 (18.84 per cent) bags that the country imported in the previous month.

Planting

UCDA says a total 240,425,353 Coffee seedlings were available for planting in the five coffee growing regions in first planting season of 2017/2018 which ran from March -May 2018. Of these, 187.4 million were allocated and 135.6 million seedlings have so far been planted.

“Comparing with the last coffee planting season September/ November 2017, a total of 131.02 million coffee seedlings were planted in 102 coffee growing districts out of the 157.06 million coffee seedlings that were available in the 2,089 nurseries,” UCDA says.

Outlook for June 2018

UCDA projects coffee exports to increase to 380 000 bags as the main season in Masaka and South Western regions peaks.