Kenya’s value of exports up by Sh4b as Covid restrictions ease

Thursday, September 3rd, 2020 00:00 | By
An elderly man undergoes a COVID-19 nasal swab test. Photo/Courtesy

Lewis Njoka@LewisNjoka

Kenya’s value of exports expanded by close to Sh4 billion in July as coronavirus restrictions continued to ease locally and internationally.

Latest statistics published by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) indicate  that total exports surged to Sh52 billion in July up from Sh48.05 billion in June.

During that period, the value of imports also rose from Sh121.6 billion in June to Sh138.76 billion in July, in a Sh17.16 billion increase.

Volume of trade increased to Sh190.76 billion in July up from Sh169.65 billion in June.

Domestic exports by Broad Economic Category (BEC), according to  the bureau’s economic Indicators indicate that food and beverages was the main export category in July, accounting for 46.06 per cent of exports.

Non-food industrial supplies on the other hand accounted for 22.29 per cent of the total exports.

The quantity of tea exported increased from 46,399.01 tonnes in June to 46,850.57 tonnes in July. 

Coffee exports

However, value of exported tea dropped from Sh10.293 billion to Sh10.014 billion over the same period, a Sh280 million drop. Over the period coffee exports decreased in both quantity and value.

The quantity of coffee exported decreased to 3,546.25 tonnes in July down from 5,414.08 tonnes in June while its value dropped from Sh2.96 billion to Sh1.8 billion million over the same period.

In terms of imports, non-food industrial supplies was the main import category in July of 39.35 per cent per of the total value followed by machinery and other capital equipment, fuel and lubricants, and transport equipment 19.26, 12.32 and 8.24 per cent respectively.

Uganda, Britain, Pakistan and Tanzania were some of the leading export destinations in July, as per the report.

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

On June 6, President Kenyatta had moved the evening curfew time from 7pm to 9pm providing more time for Kenyans workers to engage in economic activities.

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, while passengers who embarked increased from 1,617 persons in May to 3,905 persons in June.

Monthly throughput

The total monthly throughput at the Port of Mombasa rose from 2.75 million tonnes in June to 3.01million tonnes in July, according to the KNBS report.

Kenya’s trading value with international counterparts declined in the month of April by Sh39 billion, reflecting how the outbreak of coronavirus has continued to slow down the country’s economic activities.

A report by KNBS revealed that the country’s trade value reduced from Sh202.25 billion in March to Sh162.97 billion in April, affecting the overall value of exports.

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