Coffee earnings grow by Shs40b

Wednesday April 14 2021

Coffee exports registered the highest growth in February in more than three years. PHOTO/EDGAR R BATTE

By Dorothy Nakaweesi

Coffee earnings have hit $50.5m (Shs187b), the highest performance in more than three years. 
According to a report by Bank of Uganda, coffee earnings in February grew by Shs40b up from $39.7m (Shs146b) earned in January, which indicated a 21.4 per cent increase. 

Mr Emmanuel Iyamulemye, the Uganda Coffee Development Authority managing director, yesterday said the performance could have been an increase in prices, which rose to the highest average since 2017/18. 
Uganda produces and exports two brands of coffee mainly Robusta and Arabica. 
Robusta takes more than 80 per cent of the market share while Arabica takes the remaining 20 per cent share.

The Bank of Uganda report indicates that during the period, Uganda exported 562,763 kilogramme bags, indicating a 20 per cent growth from 446,560 kilogramme bags that was shipped in January.

At least 500,685 bags of the total exports was Robusta valued at $40.96m while 62,078 were Arabica valued at $9.59m, which indicated an increase of 18 per cent and 8.1 per cent in quantity and value,  respectively. 
UCDA said the decrease in Arabica monthly exports compared to the previous year was largely due to off-year biennial cycle characteristics of Arabica production.

Meanwhile, the increase in Robusta exports during February were on account of fruition of the newly planted coffee as well as favourable weather.

This was also due to positive global trends in coffee prices which influenced exporters to offload more coffee.


“Yes, February export volumes increased and in March the volume increased further to 573,189 bags. This explains the rise in earnings,” Mr Iyamulemye said, adding increase was also a result of improved investment in distribution of coffee seedlings in the last 5 years.

Uganda, during February exported much of its coffee to Italy. However, exported volumes decreased to 28.12 per cent from 32.1 per cent in February. 

Germany took 20.8 per cent of Uganda’s coffee while Belgium took 9.6 per cent. India and the US took 9.1 per cent and 5.11 per cent respectively. 

Liquidity support      
Globally, during the period, coffee exports reduced slightly to 10.21 million bags compared to 10.59 million bags.  

According to the International Coffee Organisation composite indicator price increased by 3.5 per cent to $119.35 (Shs441,595) compared $114.73 in January. 
“The prices in February had support from weather concerns over Brazil’s next off year Arabica crop,” the International Coffee Organisation, report noted.