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Uganda’s coffee exports in June 2021 reached the highest ever in a single month since 1991

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KAMPALA, Uganda – Uganda’s coffee exports in June 2021 amounted to 618,388 60-kilo bags worth US$ 58.56 million, the highest ever in a single month since 1991. The UCDA monthly report for June 2021 shows that this comprised 565,449 bags of Robusta valued at US $ 50.25 million and 52,939 bags of Arabica valued at US$ 8.31 million. This was an increase of 47.04% and 46.63 % 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 (June 2020), Robusta increased by 63.89% and 72.56% in quantity and value respectively, while Arabica exports decreased in both quantity and value by 29.93% and 23.16% respectively.

Increasing Robusta exports during the month compared to the previous year were due to newly planted coffee which started yielding supported by favourable weather. This was also compounded by a positive trend in global coffee prices in the last two weeks of the month which prompted exporters to release their stocks on top of increased procurement.

The decrease in value of Arabica coffee was due to low volumes exported.

Arabica monthly exports continued to reduce compared to the previous year attributed to the off-year biennial cycle characteristic of Arabica production,” UCDA report reveals.

Coffee exports for the 12 months (Financial year 2020/21) amounted to 6,078,638 60-kilo bags worth US$ 559.26 million compared to 5,105,881-kilo bags valued at US$ 496.28 million the previous year (Financial Year 2019/20).

This represents 19.05% and 12.69% increase in both quantity and value respectively. The total quantity of exports in 12 months was the highest in 30 years.

Uganda ‘s coffee exports by type and grade

The average export price was US$ 1.58 per kilo, 1 cent lower than US$ 1.59 per kilo realized in May 2021. Robusta exports accounted for 91.44% of total exports higher than 86.91% in May 2021.

The average Robusta price was US$ 1.48 per kilo, 2 cents higher than the previous month. Organic Screen 18 and Organic Screen 15 fetched the highest price of US$ 2.23 per kilo, a premium of 65 and 70 cents over conventional Screen 18 and Screen 15 respectively.

It was followed by Washed Robusta sold at an average price of US$ 1.96 per kilo. The share of Sustainable/washed coffee to total Robusta exports was only 0.46%.

Arabica fetched an average price of US$ 2.62 per kilo, 14 cents higher than in May 2021. The highest price was Mt. Sustainable Arabica Fully Washed Sipi Falls sold at US$ 5.37 per kilo, a premium of 204 cents over conventional Bugisu AA sold at US$ 3.03 per kilo. This was followed by Mt. Elgon PB sold at US$ 4.41 per kilo as a sample. Drugar was sold at US$ 2.64 per kilo, a discount of 69 cents from Bugisu AA. Organic Drugar was sold at US$ 3.88 per kilo, a premium of US $ 1.24 over conventional Drugar. The share of sustainable Arabica exports to total Arabica exports was 3.7%. Drugar exports had a 65% of Arabica exports compared to 56% the previous month.

Uganda ‘s coffee exports by destination

Italy maintained the highest market share with 34.57% compared with 37.02% last month. It was followed by Germany 13.11% (14.36%), India 9.52% (5.00%) Sudan 7.81% (4.04%) and Algeria 6.28% (5.80%). It’s important to note that the figures in brackets represent percentage market share held in May 2021.

Coffee exports to Africa amounted to 112,416 bags, a market share of 18% compared to 69,349 bags (14%) the previous month. Leading African countries included Sudan, Morocco, Kenya, Algeria, Egypt, Ethiopia and South Africa. Europe remained the main destination for Uganda’s coffees with 61% imports share.

Global Situation

World coffee exports amounted to 9.79 million bags in June 2021 compared to 10.89 million in May 2020. Exports for the first 8 months of coffee year 2020/21 (October 2020-May 2021) increased by 2.2% to 87.3 million bags from 85.38 million bags the previous period (October 2019-May 2020).

The ICO Composite Indicator price increased by 4.6% to 141.03 US compared to 134.78 US cents in May 2021.

The prices have seen a positive trend since October due to an expected reduction in supply in key producing countries.

Global coffee production for 2020/21 is estimated to increase by 0.3% to 169.5 million bags while the consumption is estimated to increase by 1.9% to 167.24 million bags.

Local Situation

During the month of June 2021, farm gate prices ranged from Sh.2,000-2,500/= per kilo of Kiboko (Robusta dry cherries); Shs. 4,200-4,500/= for FAQ; Sh. 6,500-6,800/= for Arabica parchment; and Sh. 5,500-6,000/= per kilo for Drugar from Kasese. Robusta Kiboko averaged UGX 2,250/= per kilo; FAQ UGX 4,350/= per kilo, Arabica parchment UGX 6,650/= per kilo and Drugar UGX 5,750/= per kilo.

Outlook for July 2021

Coffee exports are projected to be 650,000 bags as the main harvesting period in Greater Masaka and South Western regions reaches its peak during the month. Dry weather coupled with some rains will speed up ripening and procurement of the coffee from the countryside.

Increased exports are also likely to be driven by increasing global coffee prices exhibited in the last two weeks of the previous month on account of reduced harvest from Brazil and Vietnam which will stimulate exporters to also release their stocks.