Little coronavirus effect on demand for Uganda’s coffee

Coffee exports in April increased in both value and quantity compared to the same month last year

Exports of coffee, Uganda’s most valuable locally produced export commodity, increased in April compared to the same month last year but declined from March due to logistical issues caused by the lockdown.

Uganda exported 359,973 60-kilogram bags of coffee valued at $36.9m ($139.5bn) in April, with the quantity rising 17.8% year on year while earnings increased by 22.9%, according to a report from the Uganda Coffee Development Authority.

The authority had projected that 400,000 bags of coffee would be exported during the month but logistical issues due to the lockdown introduced in March to control the coronavirus, among other factors, had a downward effect on the quantity exported.

Still, the global Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic has not had “any significant impact” on coffee exports to various destinations, UCDA said: “Italy, the United States and Spain, which are among the countries with high incidences of Covid-19 infections, command[ed] the highest import share of Uganda‚Äôs exports.”

The exports also fetched a higher price compared to the previous month, with the average export price increasing to $1.71 per kilo from $1.6 in March. This was due to a rise in the average price of arabica coffee exports to $2.46 per kilo, 13 cents higher than the previous month. The price of robusta beans was flat at $1.43 per kilo.

Robusta bean exports were 262,676 bags valued at $22.6m, while arabica bags rose to 97,297 and their value to $14.4m.