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Kenya’s exports to African nations rise in first quarter   

By Bedah Mengo NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Exports from Kenya to African countries increased by 1.2 percent in the first three months of 2017, pushed up by rise in exports to the Common Markets for the Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) region.

The exports stood at 364 million U.S. dollars, latest data from Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) showed on Monday, up from 359 million dollars in the October-December period.

“The increase was largely in exports to Comesa countries namely Uganda and Egypt while those to East African Community (EAC) decreased,” said the CBK in its economic report for the period.

Exports to EAC stood at 293 million dollars, down from 298 million dollars in the previous quarter.

Among East African countries, Uganda tops as the major destination of Kenya’s exports, which stood at 163 million dollars during the quarter.

It was followed by Tanzania at 75 million dollars and Somalia came third at 58 million dollars. On the other hand, exports to the rest of the world during the period in review increased to 1.4 billion dollars, from 1.3 billion dollars.

“The share of exports to the European Union increased to 22.6 percent during the first quarter, from 20.4 percent during the fourth quarter of 2016. Those to China, however, decreased to 1.6 percent from 2.3 percent in the previous quarter,” said the bank.

China was Kenya’s largest source of imports during the quarter, with the share increasing to 1.1 billion dollars, or 28 percent, up from 25 percent during the fourth quarter of 2016.

“The share of Kenya’s imports from the European Union, however, decreased to 11.2 percent during the first quarter from 14 percent in the previous quarter, while those from India also decreased to 11.6 percent from 14.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016,” said the CBK.

Imports from Africa accounted for 10.1 percent during the first quarter compared to 11.4 percent during the fourth quarter of 2016.

South Africa and Egypt were the main source of the imports, with those from the former standing at 136 million dollars and the latter 89 million dollars.

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