Kenyan exports to Africa hit Sh83 billion on economic recovery
Kenyan exports to the rest of Africa rose by 15 per cent from Kes72.1 billion in the first quarter of last year to Kes83.1 billion over the same period this year.
Data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, KNBS indicates that Kenyan exports to several African countries registered double-digit growth, providing a lifeline for the country’s traders hard hit by the pandemic.
Tanzania, Rwanda and Ethiopia registered a rise of 60 per cent, 29 per cent and 62 per cent respectively in the value of Kenyan imports even as Kenya’s trade with close neighbours faltered.
“Africa continued to be the leading export destination accounting for 39.8 per cent of the total export earnings,” explained the KNBS. “This improvement was partly due to a significant increase in exports to Tanzania which almost doubled.”
Exports to Uganda, Kenya’s biggest market in the region dropped by nine per cent to Kes20.8 billion which has been attributed to a decline in the exports of crude palm oil and clinker.
The European Union similarly recorded a slight increase in the value of goods imported from Kenya from Kes33 billion in the first quarter of the year to Kes34.0 billion largely on account of an increase in coffee exports to Belgium.
“Over the review period, export earnings from Asia exhibited an increase of 11.6 per cent from Kes47.5 billion in the first quarter of 2021, mainly on account of improvement in the domestic exports of tea and cut flowers to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia,” said the KNBS.
Overall, trade between Kenya and her partner countries increased by Kes102 billion but the gains were, however, eroded by the high cost of several commodities that pushed up the country’s import bill by 12 per cent.
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“During the first quarter of 2022, the volume of trade was Kes802 billion compared to Kes700 billion in the first quarter of 2021, representing an increase of 14.4 per cent,” said the KNBS in the latest trade statistics report.
“International merchandise trade balance deteriorated from a deficit of Kes316 billion in the first quarter of 2021 to a deficit of Kes384 billion in the quarter under review,” explained the statistics body. “This unbalanced growth was occasioned by a higher increase in the value of imports than in export earnings.”
According to the statistics body, exports earnings rose from Kes171 billion to Kes183 billion as a result of the significant increase in exports of tea, coffee, iron, steel and animal and vegetable oils.
Earnings from tea exports on the other hand rose 10 per cent following an increase in the price of black tea in the international market from Kes133.89 per kilogramme last year to Kes290.43 per kilogramme this year.
“The value of animal and vegetable oils exports more than doubled to Sh5.1 billion over the same period,” explains the statistics office. “In contrast, revenue from the export of horticultural products declined from Kes49.5 billion in the first quarter of 2021 to Kes43.5 billion in the same quarter of 2022, representing a 12.1 per cent decrease.”
The latest figures come in the wake of rising inflation in the country that has since hit a five-year high that has been attributed to several factors including the ongoing war in Ukraine that has impacted heavily on the cost of cereal imports.