Gold, coffee, fish, oil and maize topped Uganda’s export list in the calendar year ending 2018, increasing overall earnings by 5.1 per cent.
According to records from Bank of Uganda (BoU) released this month, the country’s export earnings for the year ending 2018 were $3.6b (Shs13.2trillion), up from $3.4b (Shs12.5 trillion) earned the previous year.
Once again gold was the leading export commodity, solely fetching Uganda the most revenue of $514.8m (Shs1.8 trillion).
The BoU report indicates that a total of 13,216 kilogrammes of gold were exported out of the country, up from 10,380 kilogrammes sold the previous year.
Exports analysts further attribute the gold numbers to the country’s increased re-exports backed by the refinery plant –Africa Gold refinery in Entebbe established 2014.
In an interview with Prosper Magazine, Mr John Lwere, the trade and information executive at Uganda Export Promotions Board, said they are still studying how much gold the country produces.
“…but we believe the refinery at Entebbe is attracting a lot of gold from the region and this is raising the statistics,” he shared.
Coffee - Uganda’s leading agricultural export commodity, during in 2018 experienced a drop in both value and volume of exports.
The BoU report shows that the country exported 4.1 million 60kg bags, fetching the country $436m (Shs1.6 trillion), down from 4.7 million kilogramme 60kg bags worth $555m (Shs2 trillion) exported the previous year.
Coffee experts attribute the revenue drop to the global slump in prices which has been at its lowest since six years ago.
The situation is expected to improve according to Mr Emmanuel Iyamulemye, the executive director of Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA.
“The prices have been the lowest since 2002. However, the forecast is positive because the prices have started appreciating. The price which was Shs4,000 is now Shs4,600.
In the last two consecutive years, Uganda has realised a maize bumper harvest which climbed from 26,000 metric tonnes to the 38,000 tonnes, indicating a 31 per cent increase in export volumes.
Last year, although there was a slight drop in export volume from 384,364 metric tonnes down from 381,524, the revenue collected increased. In 2018 maize exports earned the country close to $106m (Shs389b), up from the previous year’s $95m (Shs348b).
Uganda mainly exports her maize to Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan and Northern Tanzania.
Uganda’s neighbours – Rwanda, Burundi, DR Congo and South Sudan – mostly channel their oil exports through from Mombasa thus explaining her increase in oil re-exports.
BoU statistics show that Uganda recorded $132m (Shs481b) worth of oil re-exports, up from $129m (Shs473b) in 2018.
The value of fish exports have been on an upward trajectory since 2015.
Fish exports in 2018 earned the country $171m (Shs627b) out of a total of 24,545 metric tonnes exported. This rose from the previous year’s 19,222 tonnes exported and valued at $137m (Shs502b).
In 2015, the country exported a total of 18,408 metric tonnes of fish valued at $117.5m (Shs431b). The following year 2016, a total 19,546 tons worth $121.8m (Shs462.8bn) were exported.