Uganda’s export receipts in September 2018 amounted to US$ 300.12 million compared to USD 298.84 million in August 2018, according to the latest Performance of the Economy Report, published by the Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development (MFPED).

The report attributes the increase majorly to increased volumes of gold and tobacco by 36.9 percent and 55.1 percent respectively compared to the previous month.

“Compared to the same month in 2017, the improvement in export receipts in September 2018 was on account of increased volumes of gold, tobacco, fish and sugar,” the report reads.

However, according to monthly the report, export receipts from coffee Uganda’s main export earner, declined both in value and volume compared to the previous month and the same month in 2017. The decline is due to mainly low international prices following higher production in Brazil; as well as lower production volumes especially from Masaka and South-Western regions which are the main coffee growing regions.

Destination of Exports

The East African Community (EAC) remained the major destination for Uganda’s exports in September 2018, followed by the Middle East and Rest of Africa. Exports to the EAC region grew by 11.6 percent from US$ 104.94 million in September 2017 to US$ 117.09 million in September 2018. Kenya took the largest share of EAC exports (48.3 percent), followed by Rwanda (19.4 percent) and South Sudan (18.3 percent).

Merchandise Imports

Meanwhile Uganda’s value of imported merchandise declined to US$ 462.4 million in September 2018, from US$ 501.60 million recorded in the previous month. “The decline was driven by a decrease in the values of both Government and private sector imports Volumes and prices of non-oil imports dropped by 6 percent and 2 percent, respectively, partly explaining the decline in the value of imports,” the report reads.

Compared to the same period the previous year, the value of imports declined by 3.2 percent. Whereas the value of private sector imports increased by 19.4 percent, the decline in the value of Government imports more than offset the increase.

Origin of Imports

Asia remained the largest source of imports during the month, contributing 42 percent of the total merchandise imported. Middle East and EAC contributed 20 percent and 15 percent respectively of the total imported merchandise, making them the second and third largest sources. Of the imports from Asia, 77 percent was from India, China and Japan while of the merchandise imported from the EAC, 89 percent was from Kenya and Tanzania.