Finance Minister, Matia Kasaija

During the month of March 2022, Uganda’s trade with the rest of the world resulted in a deficit of $265.6 million, higher than $249.9 million recorded the month earlier, according to the latest April 2022 Performance of the Economy Report, published by the Ministry of Finance.

This was on account of a bigger increase in the import bill by $49.6 million which more than offset the increase in the export receipts by 33.9 million over the same period

The report says Uganda’s merchandise export receipts amounted to $369.39 million in March 2022, a 10 percent increase when compared to $335.49 million recorded in February 2022. This was majorly on account of increases for both coffee and non-coffee formal exports.

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It says coffee export receipts benefited from increases in international coffee prices since October 2021, as well as higher coffee export volumes. Non-coffee formal exports rose by 11.5 percent, mainly on account of increases registered for base metals & products, plastic products, tobacco, oil re-exports, cotton and maize.

According to the report, similar to the previous month, the East African Community [EAC] was the largest destination of Uganda’s exports during March 2022, accounting for 39.2 percent of total exports. The other notable export destinations were the Rest of Africa (29.8 percent) and European Union (19.3 percent) in the second and third positions respectively.

Imports

In March 2022, the report says, Uganda imported merchandise worth USD 634.98 million. This represents an 8.5 percent increase when compared to US$ 585.43 million in February 2022, on account of both higher oil and non-oil formal private sector imports. The commodities that posted major increases were; petroleum products- mostly because of higher international crude oil prices; vegetable products, animal, beverages and fats and oils; and base metals and their products.

In March 2022, Asia remained the largest source of Uganda’s imports, accounting for $253.30 million or 42.8 percent of Uganda’s total imports. It was followed by the Middle East at 21.9 percent, EAC at 13.6 percent and then the European Union at 6.8 percent. Within Asia, the imports were mainly sourced from China (US$ 109.38 million or 40.3 percent) followed by India at $83.69 million or 30.8 percent.

Trade balance by region indicates that during March 2022, Uganda traded at surpluses with the EAC, Rest of Africa and European Union while deficits were registered with Asia, Middle East, and Rest of Europe.

The biggest surplus was registered with the Rest of Africa (US$ 77.38 million) while the biggest deficit was recorded with Asia ($247.68 million). The surplus of $28.0 million recorded with the European Union represents an improvement when compared to the deficits of $25.49 million and $12.22 million in March 2021 and February 2022, respectively.

Revenues

According to the report, revenue and grants in April 2022 amounted to Shs 1,824.31 billion, representing a 109.7 percent performance against the Shs 1,662.99 billion target for the month. Project support grants received during the month amounted to Shs 32.71 billion, a 39.9 percent performance against the planned Shs82.03 billion for the month.

Domestic revenue collections for April 2022 amounted to Shs1,791.60 billion, hence posting a surplus of Shs210.64 billion or 113.3 percent performance against the Shs1,580.96 billion target for the month. Of the total amount collected, Shs 1,671.52 billion were tax collections while Shs120.08 billion were non-tax collections.

Tax collections posted a surplus of Shs195.97 billion against the Shs1,475.55 billion planned for the month. This was mainly on account of higher than planned collections for income taxes especially PAYE from the private sector as employment continues to pick up; and taxes on international trade and transactions mainly on account of higher collections for petroleum duty, import duty and VAT on imports during the month.