The Middle East and Comesa have become the leading export markets for Ugandan goods, according to the Bank of Uganda(BoU) report for the year ended December 2019.
The two markets and others in East Africa, Europe and America saw a 10.1 increase in Uganda’s exports for the period under review.
During the period, the Comesa, Middle East and (Common Market for East and Southern Africa) each fetched earnings of $1.2 billion.
According to some experts, the increasing exports to the Middle East is mainly due to the growing gold exports, specifically to the United Arab Emirates.
The report also added that the Middle East also received a good share of Uganda’s fruits, coffee and vegetable exports in the same period under review.
The report further indicates that Uganda’s exports receipts from Comesa mainly came from Kenya, DR Congo and South Sudan.
Uganda’s export to Kenya earned $442 million which, however, was lower compared to $580 million recorded the same period in 2018. South Sudan exports recorded revenue worth $351 million which was lower than the $355 million registered in the same period in 2018.
Exports to the Democratic Republic of Congo grew to $247 million compared to $204 million earned in 2018.
Europe, which was once Uganda’s leading export market, fetched earnings worth $496 million earning it the third position after Comesa and the Middle East.
Exports to Europe mostly went to Turkey and Switzerland with exports to Turkey earning Uganda $126 million and exports to Switzerland earning $34 million. In the period under review, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium and Germany continued to be the big recipients of Uganda’s exports.
According to the Ministry of Finance November report on the performance of the economy, in October 2019, export earnings decreased by 4.2 per cent to $311.64 million from $325.17 million in October 2018.
Most exports such as gold, oil re-exports, tobacco, hides and skins recorded a decline in the earnings due to a drop in their export volumes.