Uganda’s coffee exports for the financial year 2020-2021 were 6.08 million coffee bags, making it the highest total recorded in 30 years. The exports, worth $559 million, received a boost in June, which was also a record month. Robusta contributed significantly to the record numbers, while the Arabica numbers slipped.
In June, 618,388 bags of coffee were sold with a total worth of $58.58 million which represents a 47.03% increase in quantity, and a 46.63% increase in value from the previous year.
In contrast, the reduced contribution of Arabica to the sales number was caused by the low volumes of exports attributable to the downswing of the biennial Arabica cycle. The exports dropped by 29.93% in quantity and 23.16% in value.
The success of Robusta exports, authorities claimed, was due to the yields of newly planted coffee trees that flourished as a result of favourable weather. Apollo Tugume Kamugisha, who is the Director of development services at The Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA), said that the high yields are also a result of the government’s intensive coffee growing campaign which started in 2014.
The market conditions were pushing Arabica prices so high in the last two weeks of June, that the exporters decided to release more of their stocks.
This upward trend might continue, provided the coffee sector can fully rebound from the impacts of the pandemic and strategically plant coffee plants to yield abundant harvest yearly.