The performance of the economy report May 2021 by the Ministry of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development released on June 18 2021, shows Uganda’s Merchandise export receipts more than doubled on an annual basis to $426.56 million (Shs1.5 trillion).
Increased earnings from commodity exports always shield the local currency from severe depreciation against the US dollars and other currencies as well.
The report which was released on June 18 reveals that export receipts rose by 106 percent representing $219.51million (Shs776.079 billion) from $207.05 million (Shs732.009 billion) in April 2020 to $426.56 million (Shs1.507 trillion) in April 2021.
Ministry of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development said this increase followed the lifting of lockdown measures that disrupted transport in April 2020.
April 2020 was the month Uganda experienced a total lockdown, which led to a sharp decline in export earnings at the time.
The ministry says nearly all export items registered a rise in their earnings with coffee and mineral exports recording the largest increases.
On an annual basis, export earnings excluding mineral exports saw a 71 per cent increase from $146.63 million (Shs518.565 billion) in April 2020 to $250.95 million (Shs887.357 billion) in April 2021.
In April 2021, the Middle East was Uganda’s top destination for merchandise exports, followed by the East African Community, the Rest of Africa, and the European Union.
The value of exports to the Middle East nearly tripled from $61.91 million (Shs219.230 billion) in April 2020 to $179.64 million (Shs635.267 billion) in April 2021, mainly due to an increase in the export of minerals.
The value of merchandise imports registered a third consecutive monthly increase in April 2021. The Ministry of Finance, said merchandise worth $695.81 million (Shs2.461trillion) were imported in April 2021, registering an increment of 5.3 percent from the previous month.
“The increase was mainly driven by higher volumes of merchandise imported by the private sector as economic activity continued to pick up,” the Ministry of Finance said in the report.
Asia remained the biggest source of merchandise imported in April 2021 accounting for 36 percent of the total imports.
Merchandise imported from the EAC and the Middle East contributed 28 percent and 11 percent of the total imports, making them the second and third largest sources of imports.
Within the EAC, Tanzania and Kenya accounted for the largest share of imports at 65 per cent and 34 percent respectively.
Uganda traded at a deficit with the regions except for the Middle East with which a trade surplus of $99.70 million (Shs352.631 billion) was recorded in April 2021.
In contrast with the previous month, Uganda’s trade with the rest of Africa resulted in a deficit owing to increased imports sourced from the region in April 2021.