The Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) has announced a monumental achievement for the country’s coffee industry. According to the latest report, Uganda’s coffee exports in July 2023 soared to unprecedented heights, raking in a staggering Shs408 billion (US$ 104.99 million). This remarkable feat represents a significant increase from the previous month’s exports, which were valued at Shs338.8 billion (US$ 90.56 million) for June 2023.
Spectacular Export Figures
In concrete terms, the coffee exports for July comprised a whopping 645,832 60-kilo bags, showcasing an increase of 12.16% in quantity and an impressive 25.85% surge in value compared to the same period in the previous year. The composition of these exports included 586,871 bags of Robusta and 58,961 bags of Arabica, contributing to the overall value of the coffee exports.
This upward trajectory in exports was primarily attributed to two key factors. Firstly, a bumper crop harvest in the South-Western region provided a substantial boost to the available coffee stocks. Secondly, the favorable global coffee prices prompted exporters to release their coffee stocks onto the international market, further driving the impressive performance.
Exports by Type and Grade
The report also delves into the nuanced details of Uganda’s coffee exports by type and grade. Notably, Robusta coffee exports took the lead, accounting for a remarkable 91% of the total exports for July 2023, showcasing a significant increase from the 87% recorded the previous month. The average export price for Robusta was recorded at US$ 2.63 per kilo, with specific high-quality categories like Washed Robusta and Organic Robusta commanding premium prices of US$ 2.99 and US$ 2.93 per kilo, respectively.
Arabica coffee, while accounting for a smaller share of exports, still made a noteworthy impact. Arabica beans fetched an average price of US$ 3.50 per kilo, with distinct varieties like Mt. Elgon AA and Mt. Elgon A+ standing out with prices of US$ 6.15 and US$ 5.52 per kilo, respectively.
Top Exporters and Their Market Share
Among the key players in Uganda’s thriving coffee industry, Ugacof (U) Ltd held the highest market share, amounting to 14.35%. This was followed closely by Olam Uganda Ltd with 9.33%, and Ideal Quality Commodities Ltd with 7.78%. The top 10 exporters collectively held a substantial 72% market share, reflecting a healthy competitive landscape.
Global and Local Perspectives
On a global scale, the coffee industry is witnessing a positive outlook. Worldwide coffee production is predicted to increase, primarily due to higher output from countries like Brazil and Vietnam. This anticipated boost is expected to drive a surge in exports, with Brazil contributing significantly to this growth. The United States Department of Agriculture’s Coffee: World Markets and Trade report from June 2023 paints a promising picture for the global coffee trade.
On the local front, the month of July saw farm gate prices in Uganda’s coffee sector vary. Robusta Kiboko, for instance, averaged UGX 4,000 per kilo, while FAQ (Fair Average Quality) fetched an average of UGX 8,000 per kilo. Arabica parchment commanded UGX 10,250 per kilo, and Drugar from Kasese brought in an average of UGX 9,250 per kilo.
A Promising Future
Uganda’s coffee industry is undoubtedly on an upward trajectory, achieving record-breaking export figures and contributing significantly to the nation’s economy. The combination of robust harvests, favorable global prices, and increased competition among exporters is propelling the country’s coffee sector to new heights. As global and local demand for high-quality coffee continues to rise, Uganda’s coffee producers are well-positioned to capitalize on this growing trend, setting the stage for a promising future in the coffee trade.
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