Kenya registered slower export growth in August

Wednesday, October 7th, 2020 00:00 | By
Imports by Broad Economic Category indicate that non-food industrial supplies was the main import category in August with a share of 33.08 per cent.

Lewis Njoka @LewisNjoka

Kenya’s exports grew at a slower rate in  August compared to July, data from the statistics bureau shows.

The monthly Leading Economic Indicator published by Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), indicates that Kenya’s exports in August grew by Sh2.16 billion to Sh54.16 billion up from Sh52 billion in July.

This is a slower growth rate compared to July where the value of exports rose by Sh4 billion to stand at Sh52 billion up from Sh48.05 billion in June.

Head of Research at Genghis Capital, Churchill Ogutu said the reduced growth, which came despite eased Coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions, could be as a result of factors within and beyond the country’s borders.

“The reduced growth could be due to factors in the destination market or due to changes in seasons,” he said. 

Impressive growth recorded in July was partly attributed to the easing up of the Covid-19 restrictions and was characterised by an increase in both imports and exports.

This is unlike in August where the exports increased while imports decreased. 

Quantity of coffee exported, according to the report, decreased to 3,181.82 tonnes in August down from 3,546.25 tonnes in July while its value dropped from Sh1.8 billion to Sh1.5 billion over the same period.

“Domestic exports by Broad Economic Category (BEC) indicated that food and beverages was the main export category in August 2020 accounting for 43.23 per cent of exports, while non-food industrial supplies accounted for 26.62 per cent of the total exports,” reads the report.

However, the quantity of tea exported increased from 46,850.57  tonnes in July to 47,034.93 tonnes in August with the value rising to Sh10.3 billion up from Sh10.01 billion in July.

Uganda, United States of America, Pakistan, United Kingdom, and Netherlands were Kenya’s top destinations according to the report.

During the period, it adds, the value of imports decreased from Sh138.76 billion in July 2020 to Sh137.77 billion in August 2020.

Industrial supplies

Imports by BEC indicate that non-food industrial supplies was the main import category in August 2020 with a share of 33.08 per cent.

“Machinery and other capital equipment (Fuel and lubricants and transport equipment) constituted 18.72, 14.58 and 13.79, per cent of the total value of imports, respectively,” the report reads in part.

Foods and beverages accounted for 7.19 per cent of the total imports in August.

Volume of trade, according to the KNBS, rose from Sh190.76 billion in July to Sh191.94 billion in August this year.

On July 6, President Uhuru Kenyatta lifted a ban on movement into the counties of Nairobi, Mombasa and Mandera enabling Kenyans conduct inter-county travel all across the country, a move that boosted trade.

Beginning May, several countries across the world started relaxing Covid-19 restrictions after months of lockdown resulting in increased consumption and increased demand for imports.

Businesses and cross-border travel began re-opening with the knock-on effect resulting in more exports for countries such as Kenya.

Due to eased travel restrictions the number of passengers who landed at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) increased from 1,232 persons in May to 2,240 persons in June.

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