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Uganda Earns Record Shs3.5 Trillion From Coffee Exports In 2022/23 As Farmers Enjoy Prevailing Good Prices

Women at Heritage Kanaani Farms sorting and drying coffee. Uganda is increasingly earning big from coffee exports

Uganda’s coffee exports for the coffee year (2022/23) totaled 6.14 million bags worth US$ 940.36 million (Shs3.52 trillion) compared to 5.86 million bags worth US$ 877.66 million in the previous coffee year (2021/22).

This represents an increase of 5% and 7% increase in quantity and value respectively.

This revelation is contained in UCDA’s monthly report for September 2023.

According to Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA), Uganda’s coffee exports in September 2023, amounted to 577,073 60- kilo bags, worth US$ 94.39 million (Shs354.3bn).

This comprised 543,361 bags of Robusta valued at US $ 88.09 million and 33,712 bags of Arabica valued at US$ 6.29 million.

This was an increase of 12.76% and 30.38% in quantity and value respectively compared to the same month last year.

By comparing quantity of coffee exported by type in the same month of last Coffee Year (September 2022), Robusta increased by 14.93% and 38.71% in quantity and value  respectively, while Arabica exports decreased by 13.53% and 29.20% in quantity and value respectively.

The monthly coffee exports performance was higher than the previous year which was seen in Robusta exports.

“This was partly on account of a good crop harvest in South Western region and the prevailing good prices on the global scene which prompted exporters to release their stocks,” the report says.

Exports by Type and Grade

The average export price was US$ 2.73 per kilo, the same as August 2023.

It was 37 US cents higher than in September 2022 (US $ 2.36/kilo). Robusta exports accounted for 94% of total exports, slightly higher than 93% in August 2023.

The average Robusta price was US$ 2.70 (Shs10,135) per kilo, 1 cent higher than US$ 2.69 per kilo the previous month. The highest price was Organic Robusta sold at US$ 2.94 (Shs11,035) per kilo, a premium of 14 cents above Conventional Screen 18.

It was followed by Washed Robusta sold at US$ 2.87 per kilo, 7 cents higher than conventional Screen 18.

The share of Sustainable/washed coffee to total Robusta exports was 2.01% compared to 0.54% in August 2023.

Arabica fetched an average price of US$ 3.11 per kilo compared to 3.14 per kilo last month, US cents 3 lower than US$ 3.14 per kilo realized in August 2023.

The highest price was Bugisu A+ sold at US$ 5.37 per kilo. It was followed by Mt. Elgon A+ sold at US$ 4.87 per kilo.

Drugar was sold at US$ 3.25 per kilo, 10 cents lower than 3.35 per kilo last month. This price was US cents 44 lower than Bugisu AA. Drugar exports were 48% of total Arabica exports the same as the previous month. The share of sustainable Arabica exports to total Arabica exports was 5.22% compared to 6.64% in August 2023.

Individual Exporter Performance

The report reveals that Ugacof (U) Ltd maintained the highest market share of 16.62% compared to 14.45 % in August 2023.

It was followed by Olam Uganda Ltd 12.18% (11.32%); Ideal Quality Commodities Ltd 9.37% (9.66%); Louis Dreyfus Company (U) Ltd 8.93% (5.04%), Ibero (U) Ltd 7.86% (5.06%); Kyagalanyi Coffee Ltd 7.35% (9.17%); Kawacom (U)Ltd 5.76% (5.88%); Touton Uganda Limited 4.75% (7.01%); Export Trading Company (U) Ltd 4.01% (2.98%); and Besmark Coffee Company Limited 3.14% (3.01%).

Note: The figures in brackets represent percentage market share held in August 2023.

“The top 10 exporters held a market share of 80% higher that 76% the previous month reflecting increasing competition,” the report says, adding that changes in exporter positions compared to last month show competition at this level.

Out of the 52 exporters who performed, 34 exported Robusta Coffee only while 7 exported Arabica coffee only.

Coffee Exports By Destination

Italy maintained the highest market share with  35.11% compared to 30.27% last month, the report says.

It was followed by Germany 22.48% (11.00%), Sudan 9.16% (22.11%), India 7.08% (9.59%) and Algeria 4.25% (4.86%).

Note: The figures in brackets represent percentage market share held in August 2023.

The first 10 major destinations of Uganda coffee took a market share of 91.55% compared to 90.35% last month.

Coffee exports to Africa amounted to 104,844 bags, a market share of 18% compared to 225,141 bags (30%) the previous month. African countries that imported Uganda coffee included Sudan, Morocco, Algeria, South Africa, Egypt, and Kenya.

“Europe remained the main destination for Uganda’s coffees with a 70% imports share, higher than 53% in August 2023,” the report says.

Foreign buyers of Uganda Coffee

The report says the top 10 buyers held a market share of 71% of total exports, higher than 66% the previous month.

Sucafina led with a market share of 16,56% compared to 15.00% in August 2023. It was followed by Olam International 13.11% (11.63%); Louis Dreyfus 8.93% (4.59%); Bernhard Rothfos 7.85% (5.19%); Altasheel Import & Export Enterprises 5.09% (3.58%) Touton SA 4.92% (7.33%); Ecom Agro Industrialist 4.53%(5.22%); GRB 3.31% (1.54%); Volcafe 3.16% (4.60%); Koninklijke Douwe 3.06% (2.08%).

Note: The figures in brackets represent percentage performance in the previous month –August 2023.

There were changes in the relative positions of the first 10 major buyers reflecting continued demand for Uganda coffee abroad.

Global Situation

World coffee production for 2023/24 is forecast to reach  174.3 million bags , 4.3 million bags higher than the previous Year, with higher output in Brazil and Vietnam expected to  more than offset reduced production in Indonesia.

Global exports are expected to increase by 5.8 million bags to a record 122.2 million bags higher than 116.4 million bags the previous year, primarily on strong shipments from Brazil.

Global consumption is forecast at 170.2 million bags, with the largest increase in the European Union, the United States of America and Brazil. Ending stocks are expected to be 31.8  million bags. (United States Department of Agriculture, Coffee: World Markets and Trade report-June 2023).

Local Situation

According to UCDA, during the month of September 2023, farm gate prices ranged from Sh.3,800-4,200/= per kilo of Kiboko (Robusta dry cherries); Shs. 7,800-8,000/= for FAQ (Fair Average Quality); Sh. 9,000- 9,500/= for Arabica parchment; and Sh. 8,000-8,500/= per kilo for Drugar from Kasese.

Robusta Kiboko averaged UGX 4,000 per kilo; FAQ UGX 7,900 per kilo same as the previous month, Arabica parchment UGX 9,250 per kilo lower than 9,500 per kilo last month and Drugar UGX 8,250/= per kilo lower than 9,250/= per kilo last month.

Outlook for October 2023

UCDA says coffee exports are projected to be 500,000 bags.

“The main harvesting season in Greater Masaka and South-Western regions ended and exporters will drawdown on their stocks to fulfil contractual obligations with buyers. They are also  positioning strategically for the main harvest north of the equator which has started,” UCDA says in its report.


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

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