Gold Accounts for 40% June Exports for Uganda

Gold continues to drive Uganda’s export receipt growth, which went up to 650.6 million dollars in June 2023 up from 365 million in the same month in 2022.

This also represented an 11.1 percent increase in total exports compared to 585.81 million dollars recorded in May 2023 and is 39 percent of the total exports for the month.

Mineral exports, which were almost entirely gold accounted for 253 million dollars, up from 200.7 million in May 2023, while in June, mineral exports account for zero, as gold exports were still suspended by the exporters. The protest by the gold exporters was prompted by new government tax policies back in June 2021 and was called off in August last year.

Since then exports have steadily grown, according to the Bank of Uganda and the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development. Prior to the suspension, gold export earnings had grown to 170 million dollars a month, according to the figures at the Central Bank.

If the subsector remains stable, Gold exports are projected to bring in at least 2.5 billion dollars a year, the highest ever and more than a third of all export earnings. Apart from gold, the increase in export figures was also on account of higher earnings from beans, simsim, cotton, and coffee.

Coffee, the country’s previous top export earner, recorded an increase in earnings from 73.3 million in June to 90.6 million dollars recorded in May which is also slightly higher than the 83.8 million dollars for June 2022. The Uganda Coffee Development Authority attributed this growth mainly to the rising international price of Robusta coffee “which prompted exporters to off-load coffee from their warehouses for sale.”

There was an improvement in maize export earnings, from 4.5 million in June 2022 to 10.5 million in May and 12.2 million dollars in June this year. Other exports that saw slight increases included oil re-exports to 13.37 million, flowers to 6.9, and tobacco to 3.67 million compared to June 2022, while another major export, Fish and Fish Products recorded a decline to 10.7 million dollars.

According to the ministry’s Performance Report for July. the East African Community remained the top destination of Uganda’s exports, accounting for almost 34 percent of the total market share.

Kenya was Uganda’s biggest export destination with 31.4 percent, followed by South Sudan with 25.7 while the Democratic Republic of Congo took 24.7 percent of the exports.

Asia and the Middle East emerged as the second and third top destinations, accounting for 32.8 and 13.8 percent of total exports respectively. However, there was a notable increase in the goods destined for the Asia market almost eight times from 28.12 million in June 2022 to 213.5 million dollars in June 2023, owing to the increase in gold exports to the region.

Informal cross-border exports also increased from 41.7 million in June last year to 48.7 million dollars in June 2023. Asia was followed by the Middle East and the European Union which saw its market share of Uganda’s export market drop by almost a half from 21.3 to 12.7 percent.

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