Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Bank of Uganda statistics indicate that the country exported goods and services worth $299 million in January. This is an increase of $11 million compared to the value of goods and services exported in December 2018 valued at $288 million.
The monthly statistics released last week indicated that in uring the same month, Uganda imported goods worth $486 million compared to December 2018 imports valued at USD 479 million. This means Uganda registered a trade deficit of USD 187 million at the end of January. The imports were dominated by machinery equipment, vehicle and accessories valued at USD 105 million.
Uganda’s highest volume of exports largely food stuffs in January valued at USD 65 million went to United Arab Emirates (UAE). UAE sees Uganda as a long term source of food imports.
In November last year, Uganda and UAE signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen and advance cooperation in the field of food security and agriculture and to cooperate in the exchange of information on agricultural and rural development policies; and to start a dialogue on creating food security and agricultural economic zones for UAE companies to invest and carry out large scale farming in Uganda.
In the region, Uganda exported goods worth USD 17.8 million to Kenya, USD 4.1 million to Burundi, USD 16.9 million to Rwanda, USD 34.1 million to South Sudan, USD 19.2 million to Democratic Republic of Congo and USD 4.7 million to Tanzania.
The low export volumes to Tanzania could be due to the ban of importation of Uganda’s sugar and other agricultural products. It was not until December 31st 2018 that Tanzania lifted a ban that it had slapped on importation of Uganda’s sugar and other agriculture products.
But again, Tanzania last month briefly stopped issuance of permits for importation of sugar from Uganda. Tanzania made a u-turn withdrawing last month’s ban of sugar imports after Uganda sent a delegation to talks led by State Minister for Cooperatives, Fredrick Ngobi Gume.
Uganda’s top January exports included; gold (USD 60.2m), coffee (USD 39.2m), fish and its products (USD 17.7m), tea (USD 8.5m), Simsim (USD 6.8m) and re-exported oil (USD 11.3m).