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Uganda import bill reached $874 million

Uganda Import bill reached $874 million

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According to Uganda's bank, Uganda's imports in March were worth $874 million (Shs3.2 trillion), the highest in February of $608 million (Shs2.2 trillion).

According to a Bank of Uganda report issued early this month, the biggest share of imports was recorded in mineral products (excluding petroleum products), which stood at $312m (Shs1.1 trillion) in the month under review.

This was followed by machinery equipment, whose import bill was reported at $94m (Shs354b).

Other products mostly imported in the period included vehicles and accessories, chemical and related products, vegetable products, animal, beverages, fats and oil, Base metals and their products.

Commenting on the development, Mr Ramathan Ggoobi, an economist and a lecturer at Makerere University Business School, said the growth trajectory, especially for mineral products could be because of the industrialisation drive that Uganda is currently pursuing.

This is a good trend, he said, noting that the manufacturing sector was importing a lot of intermediate good to be used as raw materials. “Both exports and imports are registering record performance on the account of the recovery of the economy, Mr Ggoobi said.

Government has in the last two years commissioned a number of industries that are expected to spur growth as well as create employment.

Mr Daniel Birungi, the Uganda Manufacturers' Association chief executive officer, said in an interview that a number of factories had been opened up particularly this year, noting that the increasing imports could be an indication of expected increase in production.

In the month under review, there has also been tremendous growth in exports that were recorded at $606m (Shs2.2 trillion), the highest ever.

"Surprisingly, these exports are coming from non-traditional category. Gold turning out to be the leading export commodity in the same month worth $363m (Shs1.3trillion) is massive jumping from $70m earned the previous month of February," Mr Ggoobi said.

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