Rwanda's coffee export revenues and volumes recorded during the last financial year fell below projections by the National Agricultural Export Board (NAEB), the body’s annual report indicates.
The country realised $58.5 million (Rwf49.7 billion) from coffee exports during the last financial year (July 2016 to June 2017), below $60.7 million (Rwf51.6) billion) registered during the previous fiscal year, indicating 3.61 per cent a drop in earnings, the report shows. This was also lower than $67.8 million (Rwf57.6 billion) the agro-exports body had projected to earn from the beans during the reporting period.
The drop was despite a relatively better price on the global market, averaging $3.16 (Rwf2,686) per kilogramme compared to $3.10 (Rwf2,635) per kilogramme the year before.
NAEB attributed drop in coffee export receipts to the low coffee volumes sold in the period under review. The country exported 18,502,442 kilogrammes of coffee against 19,560,636 kilos sold in 2015/16 fiscal year (FY). This was a decrease of 5.41 per cent year-on-year.
Presently, over 400,000 small households depend on the crop for their livelihoods, growing mainly Arabica coffee. The crop is one of the top traditional foreign exchange earners for the country.
According to the report, green coffee produced from July 2016 to June 2017 amounted to 18,439,111 kilogrammes, which shows a decrease of 1,590,215 kilogrammes or 7.94 per cent below 20,029,326 kilogrammes produced the previous year (July 2015 to June 2016). “This situation can be attributed to severe dry season registered from July to August and December 2016,” the agro-exports body said in the report.
Production per type
Of the coffee beans exported during the last financial year, 9,638,547 kilogrammes were of fully-washed coffee, representing 52.27 per cent of the total production, semi washed accounted for 6,211,296 kilogrammes (33.69 per cent), triage was 2,432,645 kilogrammes (13.19 per cent), Robusta added 154,170 kilogrammes (0.84 per cent), while roasted coffee contributed a mere 0.01 per cent or 2,456 kilogrammes, according to the annual report.
Half year performance
Meanwhile, revenues realised from January to June 2017 amounted to $15.86 million, an increase by $35,937 compared to $15.82 million recorded in the same period by a margin, which is an increase of 0.23 per cent.
The good performance in the first six months of the year was due to good prices that averaged $2.66 per kilogramme compared to $2.60 per kilo in 2016, according to the report.
Coffee production over the period, however, dropped by 716,933 kilogrammes or 12.09 per cent to 5,211,182 kilogrammes from 5,928,015 kilogrammes in 2016.
On monthly, total production of green coffee was 1,491,500 kilogrammes in June, higher than 1,285,512 kilogrammes in the same period last year, indicating an increase of 205,988 kilogrammes or 16.02 per cent.