Uganda’s coffee exports are said to have hit new exciting record levels in the financial year 2020/2021, as compared to what was achieved in the financial year 2019/2020.
According to the latest data released by the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA), Uganda exported 6.49 million bags of coffee for the financial year 2020/2021, as compared to 2019/2020’s million bags.
This was greatly facilitated by Vietnam’s inability to export more coffee products, due to restrictions imposed by the country to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Important to mention, due to the recession caused by the pandemic, global coffee prices hit a record low, and this was to benefit Uganda and other East African countries like Tanzania.
Climate change also halted coffee exports among the world major economies, for instance; Brazil’s exports were greatly reduced by severe drought.
In a Fitch report quoted by CNBC last month, bad weather in Columbia, coupled with the emergence of a new Covid-19 variant, prolonged periods of restriction and labour shortages also led to a decline in the country’s coffee exports.
The report also indicated that the demand for coffee products will increase in Europe, due to the lifting of lockdowns and Covid-19 restrictions, opening up new markets for African countries.
“At the same time, we see that demand, at least in Europe and UK will pick up in the coming months as the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions could enable coffee to re-open,” said the report, as quoted by CNBC
The report also indicated that Italy maintained its status quo, as Uganda’s largest importer of coffee, accounting for 27.7 % market share as of the end of last month, followed by Germany with 12.28%, Algeria with 11.03%, India 10.09% and Sudan 9.50%.
Coffee exports to Africa, in countries like Egypt, South Sudan and others, amounted to 164025 bags, accounting for the market share of 29%, compared to 169383 bags (24%) in September.
Ugandan, through UCDA and Operation Wealth Creation (OWC), has since 2012 distributed millions and millions of coffee seedlings to local farmers, which they have planted. However, harsh wealth, lack of enough pesticides to spray, and fluctuating coffee prices have greatly hampered the productivity of the crop.
The government of Uganda is aiming at exporting 20 million bags of coffee by 2030. After being appointed chairman board of Ballore Logistics consortium in Uganda, Mr Patrick Bitatule asserted that Uganda produces 7 million bags of coffee annually and that the number is fast increasing.
“As a result of this, we are seeing an increase in the goods our country produces and exports. A good example of this is coffee; we currently export 7 million bags of coffee annually but the number is fast increasing,” said Mr Bitatule.
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