Uganda, known for its robust coffee production, has achieved an unprecedented milestone in its coffee export history. In August 2023, the nation exported a record-breaking 743,517 60-kilogram bags of coffee.
The exports brought in a substantial revenue of Shs455.37 billion (approximately US$121.64 million), setting a new benchmark for Uganda’s coffee sector.
According to the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) monthly report for August 2023, the exported coffee comprised 689,261 bags of Robusta, valued at US$111.41 million, and 54,256 bags of Arabica, valued at US$10.22 million. This remarkable export performance represents a remarkable 48.19% increase in quantity and an impressive 70.73% increase in value compared to the same period last year.
When comparing the types of coffee exported in August 2022, Robusta showed remarkable growth, with a 50.95% increase in quantity and an 84.76% increase in value. In contrast, Arabica exports increased by 20.29% in quantity but experienced a slight 6.61% reduction in value.
UCDA attributed this exceptional performance to several factors, including a successful crop harvest in the South-Western region and favorable global coffee prices, which encouraged exporters to release their stocks.
Over the course of 12 months, from September 2022 to August 2023, Uganda exported a total of 6.08 million bags of coffee, earning US$918.76 million, an increase of 5% in quantity and a 2% increase in value compared to the previous year.
Exports by Coffee Type and Grade
The average export price for Ugandan coffee in August 2023 was US$2.73 per kilogram, which is 2 US cents higher than the previous month. This also represented a substantial increase of 36 US cents compared to August 2022 prices.
Robusta coffee accounted for a significant 93% of total coffee exports in August, up from 91% in July. The average price for Robusta stood at US$2.69 per kilo, with the highest price achieved for Screen 14 at US$2.96 per kilo, closely followed by Organic Robusta at US$2.95 per kilo.
Arabica coffee fetched an average price of US$3.14 per kilo, a slight decrease from the previous month, with Bugisu A+ commanding the highest price at US$5.37 per kilo.
Individual Exporter Performance
Among the top coffee exporters in Uganda, Ugacof (U) Ltd held the highest market share at 14.45%, followed by Olam Uganda Ltd at 11.32%, and Ideal Quality Commodities Ltd at 9.66%. The top 10 exporters collectively held a market share of 76%, indicating a competitive market landscape.
Coffee Exports By Destination
Italy maintained its position as the largest market for Ugandan coffee, with a 30.27% market share, followed by Sudan at 22.11%, and Germany at 11.00%. Africa saw an increase in coffee imports from Uganda, accounting for 30% of the market, compared to 24% in the previous month.
Foreign Buyers of Uganda Coffee
The top 10 buyers of Ugandan coffee collectively held a 66% market share, with Sucafina leading at 15.00%, followed by Olam International at 11.63%. These figures reflect the continued strong demand for Ugandan coffee in international markets.
Global and Local Coffee Industry Outlook
Looking at the global coffee market, world coffee production is expected to increase in the 2023/24 season due to higher output from major producers such as Brazil and Vietnam. Global coffee consumption is also on the rise, particularly in the European Union, the United States, and Brazil. These trends are expected to drive an increase in world coffee bean exports, primarily from Brazil.
Locally, farm gate prices for various coffee types showed slight fluctuations in August 2023. The outlook for September 2023 anticipates coffee exports of around 600,000 bags as the main harvesting season in certain regions concludes, and exporters prepare for the upcoming harvest in the southern regions of Uganda.
Uganda’s coffee industry continues to thrive, and its impressive export performance in August 2023 highlights its significance as a major player in the global coffee market. With favorable conditions and a growing international demand for its coffee, Uganda is poised for further success in the industry.