Kenya records 3pc dip in exports to African nations

Monday, May 4th, 2020 00:00 |
A ship transports containers with different cargo to Kenya. The country’s export into the region expanded by $100 million (Sh10 billion) to hit to $1.3 billion (Sh139.5 billion).

Noel Wandera @NoelWandera

Africa remained the leading export destination for Kenya, even as the overall value of exports for the country declined by 2.9 per cent to $5.6 billion (Sh600.9 billion).

The latest Economic Survey by Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) shows that the country’s exports to Africa accounted for 37.6 per cent of the total exports earning in Kenya at $2.1 billion (Sh225.3 billion).

According to the KNBS survey, the country’s export into the region expanded by $100 million (Sh10 billion) to hit to $1.3 billion (Sh139.5 billion), accounting for 23.5 per cent of the total exports.

Financial lifeline

The survey, however, shows a deterioration of the ration between exports and imports induced by a rise in the total import bill against the decline in total export earnings, from 34.8 per cent in 2018 to 33 per cent in 2019.

In the period under review, Kenya sold more soap and crude palm oil, boosting its exports to her regional neighbours Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda, although exports to Somali suffered mainly because fewer Cigarettes were exported to the horn of Africa nation.

Financial lifeline

The survey shows that the value of exports to Asia declined by 13.8 per cent to $1.5 billion (Sh160 billion); Middle East rose by 3.6 per cent to $615 million (Sh65 billion) on the back of increase exports of goat meat, while Far East market declined by 23.2 per cent to $838 million (Sh89 billion) as a result of a decreases in the value of exports of horticultural products and tea.

China, which is still coming to terms with the Covid-19 pandemic, bought more titanium ores and concentrates from Kenya pulling up exports by 36.2 per cent.

The EU bought goods worth $1.2 billion (Sh128.8 billion) from Kenya in 2019, a 1.4 per cent increment from the prior period, mainly coffee and horticultural products, similar to total exports to the US that rose by 9.7 per cent to $483 million (Sh51.8 billion), occasioned by an increase in exports of titanium ores and concentrates, as well as articles of apparels and clothing accessories.

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