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Uganda Earns Shs477bn From Coffee Exports In May On Higher Harvest From Masaka & South Western Regions

Uganda is increasingly earning big from coffee exports

Uganda’s coffee exports in May 2024, amounted to 553,529 60-kilo bags, worth US$ 127.30 million (UShs477 billion), Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) has revealed in its monthly report for May 2024.

This was comprised of 473,693 bags of Robusta valued at US $ 107.92 million and 79,836 bags of Arabica valued at US$ 19.38 million.

This was an increase of 22.16% and 73.81% 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 Year (May 2023), Robusta increased by 44.23% and 136.28% in quantity and value respectively, while Arabica exports decreased by 35.98% and 29.68% in quantity and value respectively.

“The report says the monthly coffee exports volume for Robusta was higher than the previous year as the newly harvested main crop from Masaka and South Western regions was at peak,” the report says, adding that Arabica exports were however lower than last year due to a smaller harvest in Elgon region.

According to the report, coffee exports for the twelve months (June 2023-May 2024) totaled 6.02 million bags worth US$ 1.07 billion compared to 5.73 million bags worth US$ 839.18 million in the previous year (June 2022-May 2023). This represents an increase of 5.17% and 27.85% in quantity and value respectively.

Exports by Type and Grade

The report notes that the average export price was US$ 3.83 per kilo, US cents 21 higher than in April 2024 (US$ 3.62) and US $1.14 higher than US$ 2.69/kilo in May 2023 (US$ 2.69).

Robusta exports accounted for 86% of total exports, higher than 74% in April 2024.

The average Robusta price was US$ 3.80 per kilo, 27 cents higher than US$ 3.53 per kilo the previous month.

The highest price was for Organic Robusta sold at US$ 4.43 per kilo, followed by Screen 17 at US$ 4.00 per kilo.

The share of Sustainable/washed coffee to total Robusta exports was 1.80% compared to 1.09% in April 2024.

Arabica fetched an average price of US$ 4.05 per kilo US cents 20 higher than the previous month (US$ 3.85).

The highest price was Mt. Elgon A+ sold at US$ 5.27 per kilo. It was followed by Organic Bugisu sold at US$ 4.69 per kilo.

Drugar was sold at US$4.21 per kilo, 30 cents higher than 3.91 per kilo last month, and was US cents 14 lower than Bugisu AA.

Drugar exports were 57% of total Arabica exports higher than 53% the previous month.

The share of sustainable Arabica exports to total Arabica exports was 4.24% compared to 7.67% in April 2024.

Individual Exporter Performance

According to UCDA report, Ugacof (U)Ltd had the highest market share of 16.44% compared to 7.86% in April 2024.

It was followed by Export Trading Company (U) Ltd 8.68%(6.07%); Ideal Quality Commodities Ltd 8.66% (7.26%), Touton Uganda Limited 7.58% (4.79%), Olam Uganda Ltd 6.53%(9.67%), Ibero (U) Ltd 6.02% (6.09%), Kyagalanyi Coffee Ltd 5.09% (7.77%), JKCC General Supplies Ltd 5.08% (5.47%), Kawacom (U) Ltd 3.93% (6.95%), and DRK General supplies Ltd 3.68% (3.95%).

Note: The figures in brackets represent percentage market share held in April 2024.

The top 10 exporters held a market share of 72% higher than 68% the previous month reflecting competition at exporter level. Out of the 52 exporters who performed, 18 exported Robusta Coffee only while 11 exported Arabica coffee only.

Coffee exports by destination

Italy maintained the highest market share with 44.66% compared to 43.87% last month.

It was followed by India 9.68% (8.08%), Germany 9.68% (6.89%), Morocco 5.47% (3.71%) and U.S.A 4.88% (7.00%).

Note: The figures in brackets represent percentage market share held in April 2024.

The first 10 major destinations of Uganda coffee took a market share of 90.58% compared to 86.93% last month.

Coffee exports to Africa amounted to 49,909 bags, a market share of 9% compared to 24,583 bags (6%) the previous month.

African countries that imported Uganda coffee included Morocco, Sudan, Egypt, Kenya, South Africa, Tunisia, Libya and Algeria. Europe remained the main destination for Uganda’s coffees with a 71% imports share, higher than 69% in April 2024.

Foreign buyers of Uganda Coffee

The top 10 buyers held a market share of 58% lower than 59% the previous month. Sucafina led with a market share of 17.10% compared to 8.4% in April 2024. It was followed by Touton SA 8.00

(5.38%); Olam International 6.54%; (9.76%) Bernhard Rothfos 6.15% (6.17%); Eurocaf SRL 6.15% (5.68%); Louis Dreyfus 3.41% (5.65%); ETG Commodities 3.17% (3.40%) Ecom Agro industrialist 3.15% (6.32%); Icona Café 3.09% (1.95%) and Koninklijke Douwe 2.80% (0.82%).

Note: The figures in brackets represent percentage performance in the previous month –April 2024.

“Changes in the relative positions of the first 10 major buyers reflects continued demand for Uganda coffee abroad,” UCDA says.

Global Situation

World coffee production for 2023/24 is forecast to reach 171.4 million bags , 6.9 million bags higher than the previous Year of 164.5 million bags, due to expected higher production in Brazil, Colombia and Ethiopia.

Global exports are expected to increase by 8.4 million bags to 119.92 million bags, mainly due to strong shipments from Brazil.

Global consumption is forecast at 169.5 million bags, with the largest increase in the European Union, the United States of America and Brazil.

Ending inventories are expected to continue to tighten to a 12-year low of 26.5 million bags.

(United States Department of Agriculture, Coffee: World Markets and Trade report-December 2023).

Local Situation

During the month of May 2024, UCDA says, farm gate prices ranged from Shs 5,000-5,800/= per kilo of Kiboko (Robusta dry cherries); Shs.10,000-11,000/= for FAQ (Fair Average Quality); Sh. 11,000- 12,000/= for Arabica parchment; and Sh. 10,000-11,000/= per kilo for Drugar.

Compared to the previous month, Robusta Kiboko averaged UGX 5,400 per kilo, lower than UGX 5,750 per kilo the previous month, FAQ UGX 11,500 per kilo lower than UGX 12,250, Arabica parchment UGX 11,500 per kilo lower than UGX 12,7500 per kilo and Drugar UGX 10,500/= per kilo lower than UGX11,750 per kilo higher than the previous month.

Outlook for June 2024

UCDA says coffee exports are projected to be 550,000 60-kilobags.

Harvesting of the main crop south of the equator (Masaka and South Western regions) is at the peak. Harvest of the fly crop North of the equator is also on going.


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

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