Uganda's coffee earnings drop 30%

Uganda’s coffee exports over the last eight months remained at almost the same volume as last year but earnings dropped by almost 30%, the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) said in a report released here at the weekend.

The eighth monthly report for the year 2001/2002 indicated that a total of 1 804 889 bags worth $48,3-million have been shipped since October last year.

Some 1 823 841 coffee bags worth $68,7-million were exported over the same period last season.

“This represents a drop of one percent in volume and 29,7% in value from last year’s performance,” the report noted.

During the month of May, however, coffee exports amounted to 226 435 60-kilo bags worth $5,65-million, up in volume but down in revenue from the 199 427 bags which realised $7,5-million in the same month last year.

That represents a 13,5% increase in volume, but a fall of 24,7% in value, as international coffee prices again slumped.

“The average realised export unit price for the month of May 2002 stood at 42 US cents per kilo, 10 cents lower than in April,” the report noted.

“The drop was also due to the low proportion of Arabica coffee exported, which fell from 33% to around 11%,” it added.

Eighty percent of the coffee was exported to Uganda’s traditional buyers in European Union countries. However, Sudan remained a significant buyer of Ugandan coffee in Africa, accounting for 6,34% of total exports, while Algeria, Romania, Czechoslovakia and some Eastern European countries are also becoming significant buyers.

Some 260 000 bags are projected for export this month. - Sapa-AFP

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