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Uganda’s export earnings dropped 10.7 percent in November 2023

KAMPALA, January 18, 2024 – Uganda’s export receipts during November 2023 fetched the country US$ 615.05 million, a 10.7 percent decline when compared to the US$ 688.69mln the country earned in October 2023, according to the Performance of the Economy Report December 2023.

Authored by the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, the report attributes the decline in Uganda’s exports in the period under review to reduced earnings from commodities such as coffee, gold, tea, cotton, and fish among others following declines in their respective volumes exported during the month.

According to the report, receipts from coffee exports during the month declined by 10.5 percent to US$ 70.68mln compared to US$ 78.96mln received during October 2023. “This drop was partly on account of the off-season rains that delayed harvest and drying of newly harvested coffee,” says the report.

However, export earnings in the same month the previous year grew by 83.2 percent to US$615.05mln from US$ 335.77mln. “This increase was mainly driven by increased earnings from gold which grew from US$ 0.63mln in November 2022 to US$ 258.79mln in November 2023.”

Destination of Uganda’s exports

The report shows the East African Community [EAC] was the major destination of Uganda’s exports accounting for 34.4 percent of the total exports for November 2023. This was followed by the Middle East and Asia, accounting for 26.4 percent and 22.2 percent of the total exports respectively.

On a country-specific level, the United Arab Emirates was the top destination of Uganda’s exports, accounting for 25.9 percent of the total value of exports during the month.


Merchandise imports registered a 3.5 percent value increase to US$ 908mln in November 2023 from US$ 878.04mln in October 2023. The report links this increase to an increase in the volume imported for both private sector oil and non-oil imports as traders imported merchandise in preparation for the festive season during the month.

Major increases were recorded for commodities such as gold, wood and wood products and petroleum products registering increases of 27.4 percent, 90.6 percent and 16.1 percent respectively.

Compared to November 2022, merchandise imports registered growth of 42.8 percent to US$ 908.78mln in November 2023 from US$ 636.21mln. This growth, the report says, was mainly driven by an increase in values for commodities such as gold, maize, sim-sim among others.

Origin of Imports

During the month under review, Asia was the largest source of merchandise imports, this was followed by the EAC, Rest of Africa and the Middle East with each contributing 37.2 percent, 25.6 percent, 13.8 percent and 11.9 percent respectively during the month.

On a country specific level, Uganda sourced most of her imports from Tanzania which accounted for 17.8 percent of the total imports. This was closely followed by China [15.8 percent] and India [9.8 percent] in November 2023.

Trade balance by region

During the month of November 2023, Uganda traded at surpluses with the Middle East and the Rest of Europe worth US$ 54.82mln and US$ 0.71mln respectively.

On the other hand, deficits were registered with Asia, the Rest of Africa, the EAC, the Americas and the European Union.

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