Kenya’s exports ‘rose 17pc to hit Sh660b in 2021’

Thursday, September 22nd, 2022 08:33 | By
KenTrade CEO Amos Wangora. (INSET) Cargo at the Port of Mombasa. PHOTO/File

Value of Kenyan exports increased by 17 per cent in 2021 to hit Sh666.7 billion compared to Sh567.4 billion in 2020, the latest data from the Kenya Trade Network Agency (KenTrade) Business Intelligence Tool shows.

The report attributed the improvement to huge earnings from top agricultural products (tea and horticultural products) which  contributed about Sh296 billion or 44.4 per cent of the total domestic exports.

Export volumes increased from 643.7 billion tonnes to 743.7 billion tonnes in 2021 with improved exports in clothing accessories and agricultural products.

“Through the trade facilitation platform, Kenya Exported approximately 1.2 million tonnes of agricultural products, especially tea and horticulture that still stand as our main export,” the report states.

Largest  market

Uganda remains Kenya’s largest market, exporting goods worth Sh91.6 billion, followed by the Netherlands at Sh61.6 billion and the United States Sh59.5 billion.

The African market, Europe and Asia are some of the highest export regions yielding an export average of Sh170 billion.

Total value of imports increased by 30.9 per cent from Sh1.6 trillion in 2020 to Sh2.1 trillion in 2021, with petroleum contributing to 67 per cent of the increase in the import bill. Petroleum imported for the year 2021 amounts to an estimate of Sh336 billion and industrial machinery imported valued at Sh255 billion for the same period 2021. Food products such as wheat, maize and rice rose in the value of the imports realised through the Kenya TradeNet system.

The imports that are consumed by the majority in the country include wheat which is the highest imported commodity, amounting to about 1.8 million tonnes, iron and steel and cement clinker with 1.7 million and one million tonnes respectively. Other commodities imported in high tonnage for the year 2021 include animal, vegetable fat and oil, chemical fertilisers and rice,” the report indicates.

The volume of trade in the year under review amounted to 2.8 trillion compared to 2.2 trillion in the year 2020.

KenTrade CEO Amos Wangora said the findings on both the imports and the exports are made possible through the availability and the increased use of the TradeNet System

“We have recently made an upgrade of the Kenya TradeNet System to Trade Facilitation Platform (TFP) which has since made the partner government agencies and users of the system enjoy vast advantages. The platform is an advancement of new technology which is robust in nature,” he noted.

The platform has attracted over 35 partner government agencies with over 17,000 users. KenTrade is now optimistic that the recent Presidential assent of the Kenya National Electronic Single Window System Act 2022, will go a long way in advancing its services to facilitate efficient service delivery to Kenya and its environs.

This is the first report from the new Business Intelligence (BI) Tool. The tool, which was co- funded by TradeMark East Africa (TMEA), went live on June 30, 2022.

The BI is helping the agency visualise internal and external strengths and weaknesses, detect opportunities for more innovation, and will be instrumental in KenTrade’s goal of reducing the cost of doing business in Kenya.

Better visibility

Speaking at the pilot launch of the tool, Wangora, said the move would see the agency harness relevant data from stakeholders’ systems. He said it would support better visibility of Mombasa Port, and the Northern Corridor Community Charter for improved decision-making and efficiency.

“In the past, we have experienced limitations of report generation features on the TradeNet System and there was a need for better reports, and insight gathering especially for cross-border trade,” Wangora said at the time.

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