Uganda Registers Highest Coffee Exports Ever

by Christopher Kiiza
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Uganda registered the highest coffee exports ever with 743,517; 60-kilogramme bags worth 121.64 million dollars in August 2023, the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) has announced in its monthly report of August 2023.

“A total of 743,517 60-kilo bags of coffee valued at 121.64 million dollars were exported in August 2023 at an average price of US$ 2.73/kilo, 2 US cents higher compared to July 2023 (US$ 2.71/kilo), and US cents 36 higher than US$ 2.41/kilo in August 2022. This was an increase of 48.19% and 70.73% in quantity and value respectively compared to the same month last year,” the report reads in part.

Of the 743,517 bags exported, 689,261 bags were Robusta valued at 111.41 million dollars and 54,256 bags of Arabica valued at 10.22 million dollars.

This was an increase of 48.19% and 70.73% in quantity and value respectively compared to the same month last year.

By comparing quantity of coffee exported by type in the same month of last Coffee Year (August 2022), Robusta increased by 50.95% and 84.76% in quantity and value respectively, while Arabica exports increased by 20.29% in quantity but a 6.61% reduction in value.

“The monthly coffee exports performance was higher than the previous year which was seen in Robusta exports and was partly on account of a good crop harvest in South-Western region and the prevailing good prices on the global scene which prompted exporters to release their stocks,” UCDA report reads.

Uganda’s coffee exports for 12 months (September 2022 to August 2023) totaled 6.08 million bags worth 918.76 million dollars compared to 5.94 million bags worth 872 million the previous year (September 2021 to August 2023). This represents an increase of 5% and 2% increase in quantity and value respectively.

76% of the total volume was exported by 10 exporters, out of 51 companies which performed during the month compared to 72% in June 2023. Bugisu A+ fetched the highest price at US $ 5.37 per kilo.

The coffee exports record is achieved following President Museveni’s endless calls to add value to coffee for export and to stop the exportation of unprocessed goods.

“A non-coffee producing country like Germany, earns $6.85 billion! This is part of the iniquities of the present global parasitic system. In the last 60 years, I have been involved in the struggle against this modern slavery for Africa – the curse of producing raw-materials for cleverer people in the world to add value to those raw- materials and get much more value from them. A kilogram of coffee beans of good quality, may go for $2.5 per kg. The same quantity of coffee roasted, ground and packaged may go for $40. This is where there is massive haemorrhage of money from the global South to the global North. It is not only the loss of money per kilogram. It is also the loss of jobs. If you take the whole spectrum of raw-materials from agriculture, minerals, forest products, etc, the loss to Africa is massive,” said Museveni while opening the second G25 African Coffee Summit in Kampala last month.

Coffee Exports By Destination

Italy maintained the highest market share with 30.27% compared to 37.68% recorded in July. It was followed by Sudan at 22.11% up from 18.37%, Germany at 11.00% up from 10.96%, India at 9.59% up from 7.51%, and Algeria at 4.86% up from 1.42% recorded in July 2023.

The first 10 major destinations of Uganda coffee took a market share of 90.35% compared to 90.64% registered in July 2023.

Coffee exports to Africa amounted to 225,141 bags, a market share of 30% compared to 157,752 bags (24%) the previous month.

African countries that imported Uganda coffee included Sudan, Morocco, Algeria, South Africa, Egypt, and Kenya.

Europe remained the main destination for Uganda’s coffees with a 53% imports share, lower than 61% recorded in July 2023.

Foreign Buyers Of Ugandan Coffee

The top 10 buyers held a market share of 66% of total exports, higher than 62% the previous month of July.

Sucafina, a Swiss multinational coffee trading company led with a market share of 15% compared to 14.51% in July 2023. It was followed by

Olam International from Singapore at 11.63% up from 9.69%; Touton SA from France at 7.33% up from 7.05%; Hafco Trading from Sudan at 5.23% up from 3.36%; and Ecom Agro Industrialist at 5.22% down from 6.80% recorded in July 2023.

Others include; Bernhard Rothfos from Germany at 5.19% up from 4.22%, Volcafe from Switzerland at 4.60% up from 3.09%, Louis Dreyfus from Netherlands at 4.59% down from 7.43%, Aldwami Company from Sudan at 3.91%, up from 2.01%, and Altasheel Import & Export Enterprises from Sudan at 3.58% up from 3.03% recorded in July 2023.

Exports By Type And Grade

The average export price was $2.73 per kilo, 2 US cents higher than in July 2023 ($2.71 per kilo). It was 36 US cents higher than in August 2022 ($2.37/kilo).

Robusta exports accounted for 93% of total exports, higher than 91% in July 2023. The average Robusta price was $2.69 per kilo, 6 cents higher than $2.63 per kilo the previous month.

“The highest price was for Screen 14 sold at $2.96 per kilo, and it was followed by Organic Robusta sold at $2.95 per kilo. Washed Robusta was sold at $ 2.84 per kilo, 3 cents higher than conventional Screen 18,” the report reads.

The share of Sustainable/washed coffee to total Robusta exports was 0.54% compared to 0.63% in July 2023.

“Arabica fetched an average price of $3.14 per kilo compared to 3.50 per kilo last month, 25 US cents lower than $3.75 per kilo realized in July 2023.”

The highest price was Bugisu A+ sold at $5.37 per kilo. It was followed by Bugisu CPB sold at $ 4.74 per kilo. Drugar was sold at $3.35 per kilo, 14 cents lower than 3.49 per kilo last month. This price was US cents 46 from Bugisu AA.

Drugar exports were 48% of total Arabica exports compared to 58% the previous month. The share of sustainable Arabica exports to total Arabica exports was 6.64% compared to only 1.24% in July 2023.

Local Prices

During the month of August 2023, farm gate prices ranged from 3,800-4,500 shillings per kilo of Kiboko (Robusta dry cherries); 7,700 to 8,300 shillings for FAQ (Fair Average Quality); 9,000 to 10,000 shillings for Arabica parchment; and 8,000 to 8,500 shillings per kilo for Drugar from Kasese.

Robusta Kiboko averaged 4,150 shillings per kilo; FAQ 8,000 shillings per kilo same as the previous month of July, Arabica parchment 9,500 shillings per kilo, lower than 10,250 shillings per kilo in July and Drugar 8,250 shillings per kilo lower than 9,250 shillings per kilo for July 2023.

Global Situation

According to World Markets and Trade on Coffee report published by the United States Department of Agriculture in June 2023, the world coffee production for 2023/24 is forecast to increase by 4.3 million bags from the previous year to 174.3 million due primarily to higher output from Brazil and Vietnam.

Global consumption is forecast at 170.2 million, with the largest gains in the European Union, the United States of America and Brazil.

World coffee bean exports are forecast to increase by 5.8 million bags to reach 122.2 million bags higher than 116.4 million, fueled by strong shipments from Brazil.

The report also highlights a number of factors that are likely to affect world trade in coffee in the coming year, including: weather conditions in major coffee-producing regions, coffee pests and diseases, global economic growth, currency exchange rates, and government policies.

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