Uganda coffee exports plummet 29 percent in August due to drought

KAMPALA– Uganda’s coffee sub-sector regulator, Uganda Coffee Development Authority [UCDA] reported that the country’s coffee exports fell 28.5 percent year-on-year in August due to a drought that damaged crops in some regions of the country, leading to reduced yields.

UCDA in its August report said the country exported 501,054 60-kg bags of coffee during that month, compared to 700,990 bags exported during the same month in 2021.

UCDA attributed the decline in exports mainly to lower yields this year, which were caused by drought in the majority of regions.

The drought shortened the main harvest season in the country’s central and eastern regions, which reduced yields, according to UCDA. “This led to a shorter main harvest season in Central and Eastern regions and also reduced harvests from Greater Masaka and South-Western regions.”

The coffee exports in August 2022, earned Uganda the much-needed revenue of US$ 71.15 million. “This comprised 456,271 bags of Robusta valued at US$ 60.26mln and 44,783 bags of Arabica valued at US$ 10.89mln,” says UCDA.

By comparing the quantity of coffee exported by type in the same month of last Coffee Year [August 2021], Robusta decreased by 28.31 percent and 7.65 percent in quantity and value respectively. Arabica exports decreased by 30.60 percent in quantity but increased by 10.59 percent in value.

Meanwhile, Uganda’s coffee exports for 12 months [September 2021- August 2022] totaled 5.93mln bags worth US$ 871.76mln compared to 6.41mln bags worth US$ 607.82mln the previous year [September 2020-August 2021]. This represents a decrease of 7.49 percent in quantity but an increase of 43.43 percent value.

Outlook for September

Coffee exports are projected to be 450,000 bags. The main harvesting period season in Greater Masaka and Southwestern regions is at its tail end. It was affected by a dry spell, especially in Bukomansimbi and Sembabule districts. Exporters are likely to draw down their stock levels to fulfill contractual obligations with the buyers.

Global situation

World coffee production for 2022/23 is forecast to reach 175mln bags, which is an increase of 7.8mln bags from the previous year, as Brazil’s Arabica crop enters the one year of the biennial production cycle.

Global consumption is expected to increase by 1.81mln bags to 167mln with the largest increase in European Union, United States, Japan, and Brazil.

World exports are forecast to be higher on gains in Brazil and Indonesia. Ending stocks are expected to be 2.1mln bags higher than last year to 34.7mln bags following last year’s sharp drawdown.

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