Despite these political influences, the A.P. Moller-Maersk 2017
Third Quarter East Africa Trade Reportreveals an improve-ment in
aggregate trade levels over the last quarter, resulting in
overall year-on-year growth of three per cent for the region.
"It’s always difficult to analyse a specific period during an
"We typically see significant trends play out which may mean
that the results captured are not actually a true indicator of
real growth experienced," says Skov-Hansen.
trends are particularly relevant to note with regards to
IMPORT GROWTH DRIVEN BY CARS AND TEXTILES:
"During an election year, imports tend to see a boost just
before the election day, as people tend to stock up on basic
"There is then usually a drop in imports immediately after,
as people hold back on spending, opting rather to hold on to the
liquidity in the face of political unrest and economic
uncertainty," explains Skov-Hansen.
Despite that fact, the East African import market has
strengthened during the third quarter, particularly in the
Central Corridor, which was up seventeen per cent from the
previous quarter, resulting in three per cent year-on-year
The Northern Corridor, on the other hand, was up six per cent
from the previous quarter, and exhibited six per cent
The main drivers to this in-creased import market were
consolidated cargo, used clothing and foodstuff in the Central
Corridor, while the Northern Corridor saw an increase in import
of textiles and synthetic resin -sourced mostly from Saudi
Arabia and used as raw material components in different indus-tries,
from the manufacture of plastics to adhesives.
Whilst this market
continues to be largely agricul-ture-based –dominated by
tea, coffee and avocados in the Northern Corridor; and
animal fodder, seeds and tobacco in the Central Corridor –
during the third quarter of 2017, commodi-ties and minerals
have also played a prominent role in export growth, with
copper – used in the construction of electronics in China,
India, UAE and South Korea – and soda ash – exported mainly
to India and Thailand for the manufacture of glass
–contributing significantly to exports in the Central
Corridor and Northern Corridor respec-tively.
EXPORTS SEE COMMODITY UPRISING:
"While the Northern Corridor’s exports were still down by
five per cent year-to-date as a result of the drought earlier on
in the year which negatively impacted tea exports from Kenya,
the Central Corridor bounced back to break even in terms of
year-to-date export movements," explains Skov-Hansen.
"Kenya and Uganda are actually the key export locations,
seeing two per cent year-on-year export growth, when compared to
quarter three of last year, while the Central Corridor
experienced three per cent year-on-year export growth."
For Kenya’s avocado exporters,
the inception of controlled atmosphere containers has
created a fundamental change.
Before the new technologies were available, the Middle East
had been as far as the exporters could reach in containers.
Now, Europe, where the fruit sells for roughly triple the
price, is within reach.
Towards the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017 Kenya
experienced a prolonged dry spell which negatively affected the
avocado trees which flower within this period.
This resulted in a depressed harvest com-pared to the
Looking forward, the outlook for 2017/ 2018 is looking good
due to the current rains.
Kenya produces an estimated 115,000 metric tons of avocado
annually, seventy per cent of which is grown by small-scale
Some years back, most of the avocados were sold in local
markets, but now about three quarters of the avocado fruit grown
period having come to a close on 28 November, container
trade is set to see further improvements moving forward.
LOOKING FORWARD TO A BRIGHTER FUTURE:
Skov-Hansen says, "For the Northern Corridor, the political
situation limited the growth of markets this quarter, but
subject to stability, we at Maersk have a positive outlook for
the Kenyan economy in terms of continued growth."
Similarly, the outlook for the Central Corridor is positive,
driven by positive sentiment around Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania.
A.P. Moller -Maersk is a
global leader in container shipping and ports. Including a
stand-alone Energy division, A.P. Moller -Maersk employs
roughly 88.000 employees across operations in 130 countries.
ABOUT A.P. MOLLER-MAERSK:
Maersk Line is the world’s larg-est container shipping
company which services customers through 324 offices in 115
It is known for reliable, flexible and eco-efficient
Globally Maersk Line employs 7,600 seafarers and 23,200
land-based employees and operate 590 container vessels.
The Kenyan office was established in 1994, with the head
office situated in Nairobi and branch office in Mombasa.
The other offices under Eastern Africa region are in Dar es
Salaam, Zanzibar, Tanga, Kampala, Kigali, Addis Abba, Khartoum
and Port Sudan.
still key driver to expand trade in East Africa - PDF