Uganda’s trade deficit widened in June at fastest rate in four months

A decrease in exports even as imports increased was responsible for the widening of Uganda’s trade deficit in the month of June, according to data from the Bank of Uganda.

The figures show the trade deficit widened to $190.7m in June – the equivalent of Shs704.2bn – from a revised $132m in May. This translates to a growth rate of 44.4%, the fastest since this February when the deficit increased by 74.4%.

The widening deficit was due to a slump in the value of exports, which fell 7.9% to $296.3m in June after climbing up by 24% to $296.3m in May.

Notably, the value of gold exports fell 27.9% to $28.5m in June from $39.5m in May; as a result, gold ceded the distinction of highest-valued export to coffee, which fetched $33.6m, after two months at the top. Other notable decreases were of formal maize exports, base metals and products, cement, and informal cross-border maize exports.

The figures also showed the value of imports climbing up by 7.4% to $487m in June after declining by 7.1% to $453.6m in May.

Non-oil imports and oil imports increased significantly, offsetting the impact of a considerable drop in estimated private sector imports. Government project imports also put up a strong showing, rising 110.1% to $23.2m in June compared to a decline of 81.3% to $11m in May.

Formal private sector imports amounted to 89.4% of the total value of imports in June, and surged by 7.2% to $435.3m from $406.4m in May. The was mainly due to an increase in imports of miscellaneous manufactured articles, petroleum products, and vegetable products, animal, beverages, fats and oil.

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