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Top 10 Coffee Exporters Revealed As Uganda Earns Shs267.5bn From March Exports

Demand for Uganda’s coffee globally is increasing

Uganda’s coffee exports in March 2023 amounted to 487,797 60-kilo bags worth US$ 71.54 million (Shs267.5bn), the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA)’s monthly report for March 2023 says.

According to the report, this comprised 365,613 bags of Robusta valued at US $46.10 million and 112.18 bags of Arabica valued at US$ 25.44 million.

This was an increase of 2.05% in quantity but a decrease of 11.72% in value compared to the same month last year.

By comparing quantity of coffee exported by type in the same month of last Coffee Year (March 2022), Robusta marginally increased by 1.41% in quantity and decreased by 5.85% in value, while Arabica exports increased by 4.01% in quantity but decreased 20.68% in value.

“Despite most regions experiencing drought, monthly coffee exports performance was higher than the previous year. This was mainly driven by exporters who off-loaded coffee from their warehouses as the global Robusta market started correcting upwards on account of reduced global supplies from major origins, Vietnam and Brazil,” the report reads.

It adds: “Arabica exports were higher compared to the same month last year due to an on-year of the biennial cycle characteristic of Arabica coffee production. The decrease in Arabica value was pegged on a seemingly high output from Brazil in Coffee Year 2023/24 where harvesting is to intensify in May 2023 that is weighing on prices.”

The report reveals that coffee exports for 12 months (April 2022-March 2023) totaled 5.76 million bags worth US$ 849.48 million compared to 6.51 million bags worth US$ 790.31 million the previous year (April 2021-March 2022).

This represents a decrease of 12% in quantity but an increase of 7% in value.

Top exporters

The report further reveals the top 10 export companies’ performance in the month of March 2023.

According to the report, Ugacof (U) Ltd had the highest market share of 13.97% compared to 11.57% in February 2023.

It was followed by Kyagalanyi Coffee Ltd 11.13% (6.75%); Kawacom (U) Ltd 9.32% (12.04%); Olam Uganda Ltd 9.27% (7.06%); Touton Uganda Limited 8.66% (8.86%); Ideal Quality Commodities Ltd 6.58% (8.45%); Export Trading Company (U) Ltd 6.42% (4.15%); Louis Dreyfus Company (U) Ltd 3.94% (4.66%); Ibero (U) Ltd 3.63% (4.64%); and Jber Coffee Ltd 3.46% (3.47%).

It’s important to note that the figures in brackets represent percentage market share held in February 2023.

“The top 10 exporters held a market share of 76% higher than 72% the previous month reflecting increasing concentration. Changes in exporter positions compared to last month show competition at this level. Out of the 58 exporters that performed, 21 exported Robusta Coffee only while 14 exported Arabica coffee only,” the report says.

The destinations of Uganda’s coffee exports

The report shows that Italy maintained the highest market share with 32.61% compared to 29.08% last month.

It was followed by Sudan 17.66% (21.99%), Germany 13.01% (11.50%), India 10.74% (11.51%) and U.S.A 4.37% (4.72%).

It’s worth noting that the figures in brackets represent percentage market share held in February 2023.

The first 10 major destinations of Uganda coffee took a market share of 91.13% compared to 90.81% last month.

According to UCDA’s report, coffee exports to Africa amounted to 103,937 bags, a market share of 21% compared to 131,528 bags (27%) the previous month.

African countries that imported Uganda coffee included Sudan, Morocco, South Africa, Egypt, Algeria, Kenya and Somalia.

“Europe remained the main destination for Uganda’s coffees with a 60% imports share, higher than 54% in February 2023. There were no major changes in relative position of the first ten major destinations reflecting Uganda a reliable coffee origin,” the report says.

Exports by Type and Grade

The average export price was US$ 2.44 per kilo, 14 U.S cent higher than US$ 2.30 per kilo realized in February 2023.

It was 38 US cents lower than in March 2022 (US $ 2.83/kilo). Robusta exports accounted for 75% of total exports lower than 78% in February 2023.

The average Robusta price was US$ 2.10 per kilo, higher than US$ 2.00 per kilo the previous month. The highest price was for Washed Robusta sold at US$ 3.22 per kilo. This was followed by Screen 18 sold at US$ 2.28 per kilo. It was followed by Screen 17 sold at US$ 2.26 per kilo.

The share of Sustainable/washed coffee to total Robusta exports was only 0.87% lower than 2.36% in February 2023.

Arabica fetched an average price of US$ 3.47 per kilo, US cents 10 higher than US$ 3.37 per kilo realized in February 2023.

The highest price was Bugisu PB sold at US$ 7.28 per kilo. It was followed by Mt. Elgon PB sold at US$ 5.95 per kilo, a premium of US$ 3.17 over Conventional Bugisu AA. Drugar was sold at US$ 3.27 per kilo, a discount of US cents 36 from Bugisu AA. Drugar exports were 38% of total Arabica exports compared to 30% the previous month.

The share of sustainable Arabica exports to total Arabica exports was 18% higher than 16% in February 2023.

Foreign buyers of Uganda Coffee

The top 10 buyers held a market share of 63% of total exports slightly lower than 64% the previous month. Sucafina led with a market share of 13.07% compared to 7.92% in February 2023. It was followed by Olam International 9.61% (7.34%); Touton Geneve 9.00%(9.62%); Ecom Agro industrialist 7.41% (9.81%); Volcafe 6.59% (5.61%); Bernhard Rothfos 4.08% (5.71%); Louis Dreyfus 3.94%; (4.66%) Hamburg Coffee 3.75%, (2.90%); Altasheel Import & Export Enterprises 3.01% (6.14%) and Tata Coffee Ltd 2.90% (0.94%).

Importantly, the figures in brackets represent percentage performance in the previous month – February 2023. There were changes in the relative positions of the first 10 major buyers reflecting increasing demand for Uganda coffee abroad.

Global Situation

World coffee production for 2022/23 is forecast to rebound 6.6 million bags from the previous year to 172.8 million due primarily to Brazil’s Arabica crop entering the on-year of the biennial production cycle.

Global consumption is expected to rise 800,000 bags to 167.9 million, with the largest gains in the European Union, the United States of America and Brazil. World coffee bean exports are forecast 3.0 million bags lower to 116.1 million as losses in Brazil, Vietnam, and India more than offset gains in Honduras and Colombia.

Ending stocks are expected 1.5 million bags higher to 34.1 million. (United States Department of Agriculture, Coffee: World Markets and Trade report).

Local Situation

The report adds that during the month of March 2023, farm gate prices ranged from Sh.2,300-2,700/= per kilo of Kiboko (Robusta dry cherries); Shs. 6,500-7,000/= for FAQ (Fair Average Quality); Sh. 8,500- 9,000/= for Arabica parchment; and Sh. 7,500- 8,000/= per kilo for Drugar from Kasese.

Robusta Kiboko averaged UGX 2,500/= per kilo; FAQ UGX6,750/= per kilo, Arabica parchment UGX 8,750/= per kilo and Drugar UGX7,750/= per kilo.

 Outlook for May 2023

The report says that coffee exports are projected to be 500,000 bags. The main harvesting season in Greater Masaka and South-Western regions has started though affected by a drought experienced last year especially in Bukomansimbi and Sembabule Districts.

Taddewo William Senyonyi
William is a seasoned business and finance journalist. He is also an agripreneur and a coffee enthusiast.

3 thoughts on “Top 10 Coffee Exporters Revealed As Uganda Earns Shs267.5bn From March Exports

  1. Benard Charles

    Thanks such important information
    My question is what are the coffee seasons in Uganda? Thanks

  2. Nkurunziza

    Thank you for such indeed information.
    My question is
    Who are top 10 growers of coffee in Uganda and from what region do they hail from??
    Thank you

  3. Rebecca Nsamba

    Very useful article. Please keep sharing news on coffee prices; both local and export. Thank you.

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