Uganda’s trade deficit down by 32.2 percent

Uganda’s finance ministry has said the country’s trade deficit with the rest of the world has narrowed both on a monthly and annual basis, owing to an increase in export receipts that more than offset the rise in the import bill.

The finance ministry’s monthly economy performance report for July 2023, indicates that “between May and June 2023, the merchandise trade deficit narrowed by 12.3 percent from $82.08 million to $247.43 million.”

“Year-on-year, the merchandise trade deficit narrowed by 32.2 percent from $365.11 million in June 2022 to $247.43 million in June 2023,” the report shows.

The Ministry’s Head of Communications Apollo Munghinda told Monitor that in June 2023, Uganda exported merchandise worth $650.57 million.

“This represented an 11.1 percent increase when compared to $585.81 million exported during May 2023. This increase was mainly on account of higher export earnings from beans, simsim, cotton and gold registered during the month,” he noted.

Munghinda further said during the same period, coffee export receipts during the month amounted to $90.56 million, a 23.6 percent increase from $73.26 million in May 2023. This growth was mainly attributed to the rising international price of Robusta coffee, which prompted exporters to off-load coffee from their warehouses for sale.

Origin of Imports

The ministry of finance notes that Asia remained Uganda’s largest source of imports, accounting for 36.9 percent of the total imports, per the June 2023 data. Within Asia, China and India were the major contributors, accounting for a combined 74.4 percent of the imports from the region.

Other notable regions included the EAC, the Middle East, and the Rest of Africa, which accounted for 26.9 percent, 15.3 percent and 10.5 percent of the total imports respectively. Within the EAC region, Tanzania and Kenya emerged as the lead sources of Uganda’s merchandise imports, accounting for 62.5 percent and 33.5 percent of the total imports, respectively.

Going by trade Balance by region, the report shows that in June 2023, Uganda traded at deficits with Asia, Rest of Africa, the Middle East, the EAC and Rest of Europe at $117.72 million, $69.59 million and $48.28 million, $21.03 million and $1.74 million respectively.

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