Uganda: Coffee Exports Fell Due to Kenya Crisis

COFFEE exports for last month sagged to earn the country a paltry Shs63 billion Shs3.8 billion less than the January earnings.

A February report from Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) indicates that coffee export volumes also fell by 11.7 per cent although it was 43 per cent higher than the same period last year.

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The report attributes the slump to the post-election violence in neighbouring Kenya that cut off the export route through the port of Mombasa and led to the shortage of export containers.

Only 318, 346 bags of coffee were exported in February compared to 360,785 exported in January. The report cites renewed optimism with the improved transport flow across the Uganda and Kenya borders and the rains that have stimulated internal marketing resulting into a rise in farm-gate prices.

“This has led to improved agronomic practices to increase production and the rains have also induced flowering in most parts of the country,” the report says in part.

Harvests this month are therefore expected to be better with the situation in Kenya having improved and the availability of fuel and containers.

Coffee is the major foreign exchange earner for Uganda and earned $257 million in exports last year from 2 million bags exported.

In February, coffee farm-gate prices for Robusta Kiboko averaged Shs1,500 per kilo and FAQ parchment prices ranged between Shs2,900 to Shs3,100 per kilo a Shs200 increase on the January price.

According to the report, Arabica coffee exports performed best totalling 36,430 bags worth over Shs8.5 billion ($5.4 million). This represents an increase in both volume and value of 5.9 per cent and 8 per cent from 34,409 bags over Shs6.8 billion (about $ 4.99 million), respectively over the previous month.

UCDA projects March exports to go up to a hefty 210,000 bags basing on the seasonality of the crop and and the easy flow of goods across the borders of the country.

 

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