Home Exports Kenya’s trade value dips 15.6% as tea exports drop

Kenya’s trade value dips 15.6% as tea exports drop


The volume of trade between Kenya and its key international, regional partners dropped 15.6 per cent in January as key exports of tea and coffee recorded mixed performances.

Latest Kenya National Bureau of Statistics(KNBS)–Leading Economic Indicators show the volumes’ value in the month under review dropped to Sh254.7 billion from Sh301.58 billion in December last year.

This is despite increases in exports to Netherlands, a key destination for flowers, and the UK, where value of exports increased to Sh5.3 billion and Sh4.2 billion, respectively.

This is up from Sh4.04 billion and Sh3.6 billion.

There were drops in the value of exports to the US, a major market for apparel, which fell to Sh4.5 billion from Sh4.8 billion.

Exports to Uganda and Tanzania also registered a drop with the value of goods moved to the neighbouring countries falling to Sh3.9 billion and Sh2.8 billion, from Sh5.5 billion and Sh3.7 billion respectively.

Other markets that recorded a drop in exports include UAE, Rwanda and Egypt.

Kenya however gained in the France and Germany markets, though the trade value still remains low.

The value of total exports decreased from Sh66.35 billion in December 2021 to Sh60.41 billion in January 2022, while the value of imports decreased from Sh235.23 billion in December 2021 to Sh194.27 billion in January 2022.

“Domestic exports by Broad Economic Category indicated that food and beverages was the main export category in January 2022 accounting for 46.67 per cent of the domestic exports, while non-food industrial supplies accounted for 26.52 per cent of the domestic exports,” KNBS notes.

The quantity of coffee exported increased from 2,314.35 metric tonnes in December 2021 to 3,283.60 metric tonnes in January 2022, while its value rose from Sh1.9 billion to Sh2.6 billion over the same period.

The quantity of tea exported however decreased from 47,922.07 MT in December 2021 to 45,584.65 MT in January 2022.

The value of exported tea equally dropped from Sh12.7 billion to Sh12.6 billion over the same period.

Non-food industrial supplies was the main import category in January 2022 with a share of 43.94 per cent.

Fuel and lubricants, machinery and other capital equipment; and transport equipment accounted for 17.96, 13.22 and 6.08 per cent of the total value of imports, respectively.

Food and beverages accounted for 8.51 per cent of the total imports in January 2022.

China continued to remain the biggest trading partners for Kenya though it registered a 17.3 per cent decline in the value of goods shipped to Kenya in the month of January, which closed at Sh35.9 billion.

India, the second biggest trading partner registered growth, with volumes growing to Sh25.4 billion from Sh22.9 billion.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE also increased their exports to Kenya.

Last year, country’s trade deficit widened to Sh1.24 trillion as the import bill jumped to Sh1.9 trillion from Sh1.4 trillion.

This was mainly as a results of high imports on industrial supplies, fuel and lubricants, machinery , transport equipment and consumer goods.

Kenya’s exports are projected to grow at an average annual rate of 7.7 per cent to cross $10.2billion (Sh1.2 trillion) by 2030, Standard Chartered says in a new report. 

According to the report, this will be driven by among others, output from the manufacturing sector, agriculture and food, textile and apparel and metal and minerals.

Titled ‘Future of Trade 2030: Trends and Markets to Watch’, the report projects that global exports will grow by 70 per cent from $17.4 trillion (Sh198 trillion) to $29.7 (about Sh338.1trillion) over the next decade.

China, Kenya’s biggest import source, is expected to remain dominant with other markets being the US, India, UK, Japan, Germany, Thailand, Netherlands, Singapore, UAE, Vietnam, South Korea and Philippines.

“The predicted doubling of global trade offers strong evidence that globalisation is still working, despite recent dislocation,”said Makabelo Malumane, head of transaction banking at Standard Chartered.