NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s total exports grew slower in 2017
as the value of imports surged on industrial supplies
and machinery goods, widening the country’s trade
economic data received Tuesday indicated that the east
African nation’s exports rose 3 percent last year to
around 5.89 billion U.S. dollars, from 5.72 billion
dollars in 2016.
On the other
hand, imports accelerated 20.5 percent to stand at 17.1
billion dollars in 2017, from 14.2 billion dollars in
2016, Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) data
exports during the period are listed as food and
beverages (coffee, tea, cut flowers and horticulture
produce) and consumer goods, while imports were mainly
industrial supplies (non-food), fuel and lubricants, and
destinations of exports were Pakistan, Britain,
Netherlands and Uganda, while imports mainly came from
China, India and the United Arab Emirates.
imports have been on the rise steadily since 2014 when
it started major infrastructure projects that include
the standard gauge railway.
include the Lamu Port Project at the Coast, expansion of
various local and international airports, including Jomo
Kenyatta, and the rehabilitation of key roads.
energy sector, exploration of oil and coal is taking
place in Turkana and Kitui respectively. Several
electricity generation projects are also ongoing. All
these projects require heavy machinery.
import bill had largely remained low in 2016 but was
seen rising in the second half of 2017 as prices started
to rise in the global market.
emerged as the top destination of Kenyan exports in
2017, beating Uganda, which for years was at the helm.
a recent World Bank report, Uganda and Tanzania are
losing out as top destinations of Kenya’s goods due to
cheap imports in the region, mainly from Asia.
noted that Kenya’s trade imbalance would continue,
especially as the country loses traditional trading
partners like Uganda and Tanzania.