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Uganda’s export receipts rose 0.2 percent in March 2024

KAMPALA, May 20, 2024 – During March 2024, Uganda’s exports increased from US$ 633 million in February to USD 634.43mln, representing a 0.2 percent growth rate, according to the Performance of the Economy Monthly Report released by the Finance ministry.

The report, released for April 2024, attributes the increase mainly to a rise in export receipts from tobacco, simsim, hides & skins, and gold.

However, receipts from coffee exports declined by 21.6 percent from US$ 82.56mln in February 2024 to US$ 64.74mln in March 2024, despite the increase in the average coffee export price during the period. “This performance was mainly attributed to a smaller harvest in the Elgon region, coupled with delays in the onset of the harvest season and shortage of shipping containers,” says the report.

According to the report, Italy maintained the highest market share of Uganda’s coffee exports, accounting for 38.1 percent of the total coffee exports. It was followed by India, Germany, and Sudan accounting for 12.3 percent, 10.5 percent, and 5.0 percent of the total coffee exports, respectively

On a year-on-year basis, Uganda’s merchandise exports saw a decline of 6.6 percent, from US$ 679.36mln in March 2023 to US$ 634.43mln in March 2024. This decline was primarily due to a decline in export receipts from maize, coffee, tea, among others, says the report.

Destination of Uganda’s exports

The report says the Middle East was the largest destination of Uganda’s exports during the period under review, accounting for 41.8 percent of the total exports. At the country-specific level, the United Arab Emirates received 98.2 percent of the exports to the region, predominantly consisting of gold exports.

Other notable destinations for Uganda’s exports during the month were EAC, European Union and Asia accounting for 29.6 percent, 14.3 percent and 9.7 percent of the total exports, respectively.

However, within the EAC, the Democratic Republic of Congo emerged as the largest importer of Uganda’s merchandise, taking up 31.1 percent of the total exports. This was closely followed by Kenya at 26.8 percent, and South Sudan at 25.1 percent.


During March 2024, Uganda’s merchandise imports increased by 14.1 percent to US$ 1,037.84mln from US$ 909.54mln in February 2024. This was mainly attributed to an increase in private sector imports, particularly vegetable products, beverages, fats & oil; mineral products [excluding petroleum products]; and plastics, rubber and related products.

Similarly, a year-on-year comparison shows that the import bill grew by 13.1 percent from US$ 917.60mln in March 2023 to US$ 1,037.84mln in March 2024. The report says the growth was on account of increased import volumes for vegetable products, beverages, fats & oil; base metals & their products; machinery equipment, vehicles & accessories, among others.

Origin of imports

The EAC emerged as the largest source of Uganda’s imports, constituting 36.8 percent of the total imports in March 2024. Within the EAC, Tanzania stood out as the biggest source, accounting for 80.2 percent of the imports from the region, with the main commodities being gold and rice.

Other notable sources of imports in March 2024 included Asia, the Middle East, and Rest of Africa accounting for 30.5 percent, 11.7 percent and 11.2 percent of the total imports, respectively.

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