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Uganda's Coffee Exports Experience Sharp Decline in March 2024

Uganda's coffee exports experienced a decline in March 2024 due to harvest challenges and logistical issues. Know the contributing factors behind this decline.

Shivam Dwivedi
Uganda's Coffee Exports Experience Sharp Decline in March 2024 (Representative Photo Source: Pexels)
Uganda's Coffee Exports Experience Sharp Decline in March 2024 (Representative Photo Source: Pexels)

In March 2024, Uganda witnessed a notable decline in coffee exports compared to the previous month, according to the latest report released by the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA). The data revealed 329,686 60-kilo bags of coffee were exported, valued at USD 64.74 million. This marked a substantial decrease from the 434,583 bags exported in February 2024. Accompanying the decrease in export volume was a sharp fall in export value, with March figures showing a decline of USD 17.8 million compared to February's exports. The total export value dropped from USD 82.56 million in February to USD 64.74 million in March 2024.

The March 2024 exports comprised 244,975 bags of Robusta, valued at USD 46.01 million, and 84,711 bags of Arabica, valued at USD 18.72 million.

Factors Contributing to Export Decline

The UCDA report attributed the decrease in export volume compared to the same month last year to several factors. These included a smaller harvest in the Elgon region, delays in the onset of the harvest season, and a shortage of shipping containers.

Despite the monthly decline, coffee exports for the twelve months ending March 2024 showed positive growth, totaling 5.90 million bags worth USD993.63 million. This represented a 2.42 percent increase in quantity and a significant 16.91 percent increase in value compared to the previous year.

Export Prices and Market Share

The report also highlighted changes in export prices, with the average export price per kilo rising to USD 3.27, up from USD 3.17 in February 2024. Robusta continued to dominate exports, accounting for 74 percent of the total, while Kyagalanyi Coffee Ltd maintained the highest market share at 10.21 percent.

Italy retained the highest market share among Uganda's coffee export destinations, followed by India, Germany, Belgium, and Sudan. Europe remained the primary destination for Uganda's coffee exports, with a 66 percent import share.

Global Coffee Production and Forecast

Looking at global trends, world coffee production for 2023/24 is forecasted to reach 171.4 million bags, with increased output expected from Brazil, Colombia, and Ethiopia. Global exports are projected to rise to 119.92 million bags, primarily driven by strong shipments from Brazil. Global coffee consumption is forecasted to reach 169.5 million bags.

Coffee Development Activities

UCDA implemented initiatives across Uganda to boost coffee production and sustainability in March 2024. Activities included promoting Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and Rehabilitation & Renovation (R&R) techniques through 108 demonstrations. Farmers received training to optimize cultivation methods. UCDA verified 126 nurseries and 2 seed gardens to ensure quality Arabica and Robusta varieties.

Soil fertility support was provided to 163 farmers, enabling informed soil management decisions. 500,636 unproductive coffee trees were stumped. UCDA conducted 147 farmer trainings and 1,201 farm visits, offering personalized guidance. Collaboration events enriched industry knowledge. UCDA addressed pest and disease challenges with targeted interventions.

Despite the challenges faced in March, the UCDA projects a rebound in Uganda's coffee exports, with a target of reaching 400,000 60-kilobags in the upcoming months.

(Inputs taken from UCDA Monthly Report- March 2024)

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