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Uganda Records Highest Monthly Coffee Exports Ever

Coffee ready for export

A total of 572,839 60-kilo bags of coffee valued at US$ 53.52 million were exported in March 2021 at an average weighted price of US$ 1.56 /kilo, 6 cents higher than US$ 1.50 /kilo in February 2021, Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) monthly report for March indicates.

This is the highest amount of coffee Uganda has ever exported in a single month.

This was an increase of 19% and 16% in quantity and value respectively compared to the same month last year.

According to UCDA, farm-gate prices for Robusta Kiboko averaged UGX 2,000 per kilo; FAQ UGX 4,000 per kilo, Arabica parchment UGX 5,400 per kilo and Drugar UGX 5,150 per kilo.

Out of the total  572,839 60-kilo bags, Robusta accounted for 494,223 bags valued at US $ 41.03 million while Arabica  saw 78,616 bags valued at US$ 12.49 million exported.

“By comparing quantity of coffee exported by type in the same month of last Coffee Year (March 2020), Robusta increased by 26.93% and 23% in quantity and value respectively. On the other hand, Arabica exports decreased in both quantity and value by 14.16% and 2.26% respectively,” the report obtained by Business Focus reads in part.

It adds that coffee exports for 12 months (April 2020 to March 2021) totaled to 5.65 million bags worth US 523.07 million compared to 4.88 million bags worth US$ 479.81 million the previous year. This represents 16% and 11% increase in quantity and value respectively.

“77% of the total volume was exported by 10 exporters, out of 44 companies which performed during the month compared to 74% in January 2021, reflecting increased concentration,” the report says, adding that organic Drugar fetched the highest price at US $ 6.61 per kilo.

Exports Explained

The decrease in Arabica monthly exports compared to the previous year has been attributed mostly to the off-year biennial cycle characteristic of Arabica production, the report says.

It adds that the increasing Robusta exports during the month was on account of fruition of the newly planted coffee as well as favourable weather.

“This was also due to a positive trend in global coffee prices which influenced exporters to offload more coffee. The decrease in value of Arabica coffee is due to low volumes exported,” the report says.

Exports by Type and Grade

 The average export price was US$ 1.56 per kilo, 6 cents higher than US$ 1.50 per kilo realized in February 2021. Robusta exports accounted for 86.28% of total exports lower than 88.97% in February 2020. The average Robusta price was US$ 1.38 per kilo, 2 cents higher than the previous month.

Organic Robusta fetched the highest price of US$ 2.75 per kilo, a premium of US$ 1.2 over Screen 18, and it was followed by Washed Robusta sold at an average price of US$ 1.86 per kilo, a premium of US Cents 35 over Conventional Screen 18.

Arabica fetched an average price of US$ 2.65 per kilo, 8 cents higher than in February 2021. The highest price was Organic Drugar sold at US$ 6.61 per kilo, followed by Sustainable Arabica Fully Washed Sipi Falls sold at US$ 4.28 per kilo.

“Drugar exports had a 36% share of Arabica exports compared to 33% the previous month and was sold at US$ 2.43 per kilo, a discount of 30 cents from Bugisu AA,” the report says.

It adds that though the percentage of Drugar exports to total Arabica exports increased slightly in March compared to the previous month, reduced proportion of Drugar to total Arabica coffee exports is desirable since increased washed Arabica exports fetch a higher unit value.

Individual Exporter Performance

The report further shows the top 10 export companies in the month of March 2021. Ugacof (U) Ltd had the highest market share with 13.89% compared to 12.84% in February 2021.

It is important to note that the figures in brackets represent percentage market share held in February 2021.

Ugacof was followed by Ideal Coffee Commodities Ltd 11.14% (7.77%); Olam Uganda Ltd 10.98% (8.34%); Louis Dreyfus Company (U) Ltd 9.15% (9.60%), Touton Uganda Ltd 8.70% (8.28%), Kyagalanyi Coffee Ltd 7.60% (11.06%), Kawacom (U) Ltd 6.09% (4.88%); and Grainpulse Ltd 3.40% (4.04%).

The top 10 exporters held a market share of 77% compared to 74% the previous month.

“There were changes in positions compared to last month reflecting competition at the exporter level. Out of the 44 exporters that performed, 17 exported Robusta Coffee only while 10 exported Arabica coffee only,” the report says.

Foreign buyers of Uganda Coffee

The report also shows  a list of Ugandan coffee foreign buyers in March 2021. The top 10 buyers held a market share of 62.24% of total exports, higher than 58.56% the previous month. Sucafina led with a market share of 14.15% compared to 12.68% in February 2021. It was followed by Olam International 11.55% (9.41%); Volcafe 7.25% (9.20%); Altasheel Import & Export Enterprises 6.11% (2.49%); Ecom Agro Industrialist 5.94% (6.39%); Luigi Lavazza 3.54% (2.54%); Indus Coffee 3.49% (1.89%); Aldwami Company 3.48% , Bernhard Rothfos 3.48% (4.37%) and Koninklijke Douwe 3.26% (1.85%). Note:

The figures in brackets represent percentage performance in the previous month – February 2021.

“Minimal changes in relative position compared to the previous month reflect market consolidation of major buyers of Uganda Coffee,” the report says.

Coffee Exports By Destination

Italy maintained the highest market share with 25.41% compared with 28.12% last month. It was followed by Germany 15.32% (20.82%), India 10.53% (9.13%) Sudan 10% (3.86%) and Belgium 9.74% (9.67%).

The figures in brackets represent percentage market share held in February 2021. Coffee exports to Africa amounted to 106,162 bags, a market share of 19% compared to 67,615 bags (12%) the previous month.

African countries included Sudan, Morocco, Kenya, Algeria, Egypt , South Africa, Ethiopia and South Sudan.

“Europe remained the main destination for Uganda’s coffees with a 61% imports share,” the report says.

Outlook for April 2021

According to UCDA, coffee exports are projected to be 500,000 bags in April 2021 as the main harvesting period in Greater Masaka and South Western regions intensifies.

“Increased exports would be fueled by increasing global coffee prices which will interest exporters to continue releasing their stocks as in the previous month. Coffee harvesting and drying might be hampered by rain in the countryside,” UCDA’s report says.

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

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