Agricultural export revenues shrink by 5.5%

On 29 January 2021 at 11:37

The National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB) has announced the performance of agro-exports for the 2020/2021 fiscal year’s second quarter (October – December 2020). The consolidated quarterly report includes figures of production, export volumes and generated revenues from agricultural commodities in the months of October, November and December 2020.

A total of US$ 113,964,823 of revenues was registered from exportation of all agricultural products, representing a reduction of 5.5% compared to the same period in 2019/2020 fiscal year, where revenues generated were USD 120,618,766.

Export revenues from traditional commodities (coffee, tea and pyrethrum) reduced by 1.2% from US$ 47,329,744 in 2019/20 fiscal year to US$ 46,762,263 in 2020/21 fiscal year. The non-traditional commodities export revenues reduced by 8.30% from US$ 73,289,022 in 2019/2020 fiscal year to USD 67,202,560 in 2020/2021 fiscal year.

The report indicates that tea production increased by 10.7% to 9,325 MT from 8,422 MT registered in the same quarter 2019/2020. Export volumes increased by 4.43%, to 7,140 MT from 6,838 MT registered in the same quarter of 2019/2020.

The increase of the Tea production is justified by good rainfalls registered in the last three-month period compared to the same period of the previous fiscal year – during the second quarter of 2020/2021, the average of rainfalls was 1,602mm while in the same period of 2019/2020 fiscal year it was 1,516mm.

Export revenues from Tea sales reduced by 8%, from USD 20,511,241 in 2019/2020’s second quarter to USD 18,853,622 in same period of 2020/2021. The slight decrease of earnings is a result of price fluctuation at international market whereby an average price reduced from USD 3.00 to USD 2.64.

Coffee production slightly rose by 1.07% from 6,754 MT registered in the second quarter of 2019/2020 fiscal year to 7,034 MT in same period of 2020/2021 due to good agronomical practices applied in farms. However, export volumes went down by 14% from 7,865 MT registered in the second quarter of 2019/2020 fiscal year to 6,763 MT in same period of 2020/2021 mainly because of reduced markets of produced coffee as a result of COVID-19 hence leading to large quantities that are still in stock.

According to a statement from NAEB, revenues from Rwandan coffee exports increased by 3%, to US$ 26,111,829 in the second quarter of 2020/2021 fiscal year from US$ 25,332,496 in the same quarter of the previous fiscal year attributed to good price at the international market.

Among other commodities, pyrethrum export revenues increased by 26.9%, flowers by 39.5% and fruits by 3.75%. Pyrethrum produce attracted new markets of South Korea while flowers and fruits, a number of great initiatives to expand their production and export volumes took place, new markets were penetrated and also their demand rose up.

Challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic which hit most of the business worldwide also affected exports in agriculture sector. An example is the reduction of coffee export volumes which is attributed to shortage of business deals between exporters and buyers as a result of lockdowns imposed by countries to contain the spread of the pandemic.

The same constraints were felt by horticulture business partners, especially in fruit and vegetable exports due to limitation of movements of people and cargo flights.

Claude Bizimana, the Chief Executive Officer of NAEB, expressed optimism that efforts put in place to mitigate challenges faced by the sector will be fruitful.

“We will continue to enhance the quality of Rwandan agri-export commodities so to meet standards being sought at the market. Regarding Covid-19 challenges, the Government has subsidized some charges, mostly in transport to support exporters in these challenging times,” he said.

NAEB management has also highlighted that the existing strong partnership between the Government and all stakeholders is a signal that the journey is successfully walkable and an opportunity for new ventures.

Coffee is among traditional commodities with export revenues reduced by 1.2%.