Coffee export volumes show slump in March

Pedson Mumbere 24th Apr, 2024 Agriculture
Coffee export volumes show slump in March

In comparison to the previous month, Uganda's coffee exports recorded a significant decrease in March 2024, according to the Uganda Coffee Development Authority report.

Coffee exports in March 2024 amounted to about 329,600 bags, worth US$64.74 million, down from about 434,500 bags exported in February 2024, thus indicating a notable decrease of 104,900 bags.

Similarly, the value of coffee exports declined from USD 82.56 million in February 2024 to USD 64.74 million in March 2024, a decrease of about USD 17.8 million. The March 2024 coffee 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.

  • Year on year, the volumes of coffee exported by type in March 2023), Robusta decreased by 33.03% and 0.24% in quantity and value, respectively, and Arabica exports decreased by 30.53% and 26.19% in quantity and value, respectively.

"The monthly coffee export volume was lower than that of the previous year due to a smaller harvest in the Elgon region coupled with delays in the onset of the harvest season and a shortage of shipping containers," the report explains.

The scarcity of shipping containers has a become a serious problem for exporters due to a combination of factors such as the supply-chain disruptions caused by the pandemic and the general decrease in imported goods from developed countries.

  • Italy maintained the highest market share with 38%, followed by India at 12.3%, Germany at 10.5%, Belgium at 3% and Sudan at 5%.

Coffee exports to Africa slumped to just 33,328 bags, down from 60,948 bags in February. African countries that imported Ugandan coffee included Sudan, Morocco, South Africa, Egypt, and Kenya

Kyagalanyi Coffee Ltd maintained its market-leader status with a market of 10.21%, followed by Olam Uganda Ltd (8.64%) and Kawacom (U) Ltd with 7.86%.

The average export price was US$ 3.27 per kilo (UGX12,500), US cents 10 higher than in February 2024 but 83 US cents higher than in March 2023 (USD2.44/kilo).

The average Robusta price was US$ 3.13 per kilo (UGX11,900), about four US cents lower than that of the previous month. The highest price was for Washed Robusta, which was sold at US$4.23 (about UGX16,000) per kilo, followed by Screen 17 at US$3.42 per kilo.

  • It is not clear how the prices would stand in the next few months but typically, global coffee export volumes vary depending on several factors such as harvest seasons in the major coffee-growing countries, market demand, weather conditions, and economic trends.
  • For some of the top coffee-producing countries such as Brazil and Colombia, the main harvest season typically occurs between April and September, which implies that prices might slide in the coming months because of market factors.

Over the years, the combination of diverse flavour profiles, traditional processing methods, sustainable practices, and the growing recognition in the specialty coffee market has contributed to the uniqueness and desirability of Ugandan coffee beans on the international market.

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