Decline in gold receipts force drop in export earnings 

Gold remains Uganda's largest export, contributing about 44 percent of export receipts. Photo / File  

What you need to know:

  • According to Bank of Uganda, gold earnings alone saw Uganda lose more than Shs618b. 

A decline in gold receipts forced a 55 percent drop in export earnings, according to data from Bank of Uganda. 

The fall was the largest in seven month since February. 

The Bank of Uganda monthly export performance report indicates that during September, Uganda earned $326m (Shs1.2 trillion) from exports, down from $507.4m (Shs1.95 trillion) earned in August.

The drop was partly due to a large decline in gold exports, which during the month, fetched $13.3m (Shs50b), from $174m (Shs669.9b) in August. 

It was not immediately clear what caused the decline in gold exports after reporting a strong resumption in August, following more than a year of suspended activity. 

According to the report, gold earnings alone saw Uganda lose more than Shs618b. 

Experts that Monitorspoke to indicated that the drop comes at a time when Uganda is in need of dollar supplies, which presents challenges to the stability of the shilling. 

Dr Fred Muhumuza, an economist, said: “That is a big drop,” noting that it presents serious pressure on the shilling and national reserves. 

During the period, Bank of Uganda also reported declines among other commodities, which impacted the final export value.  

For instance, export earnings from sugar, which had recovered, declined, recording a drop of 74 percent. Sugar receipts fell to $11.6m (Shs44b) up from $20m (Shs77b) in August. 

Earnings from fruits and vegetables dropped to $3.9m down from $6.8m in August.

Maize earnings dropped to $5.5m down from $11m, while crude oil-related exports declined to $7.7m down from $11.2m. 

Cocoa and vanilla

Cocoa beans earned $2.9m, dropping from $3.7m earned in August while vanilla, which is mainly exported to the European Union and US, declined in earnings to $2m down from $2m in August.