Kenya’s volume of trade rose 17.71 per cent during the five month period ending May, Kenya National Bureau of Statistics data has shown.
The country’s trade volumes increased by Sh143.2 billion to Sh951.6 billion between January and May 2017 from Sh808.4 billion during the same period last year.
The data collated by KNBS shows that exports declined marginally by 0.9 per cent during the period to Sh248.3 billion from Sh246.1 billion last year. Imports on the other hand grew 25 per cent to Sh703.2 billion compared to Sh562.3 earned the previous year.
Trade revenue rose 22.95 per cent in May to Sh204.1 billion compared to Sh166.0 billion during the same period in 2016, the highest volume recorded in 2017.
In May, the volume of exports rose 5.7 per cent to Sh52.7 billion whereas imports grew by 30.29 per cent to Sh151.4 billion in relation to a similar period last year.
In the first five months, Pakistan emerged as Kenya’s biggest export market by value recorded at Sh24.84 billion. Pakistan is known for its massive tea shipments.
Other leading export destinations in the January-May period were Uganda at Sh21.90 billion, the Netherlands (Sh19.09 billion), the US (Sh18.55 billion) and the UK (Sh15.55 billion).
China remained the top source of imports, with the value growing 48.97 per cent to Sh175.29 billion in the review period from Sh117.28 billion the year before.
The state statistician attributed the growth to increased exports in the food and beverages category while non-food industrial supplies dominated imports.
“Domestic exports by Broad Economic Category (BEC) indicated that food and beverages was the main export category in May 2017 accounting for 49.5 per cent of exports,” the report stated.
Non-food industrial supplies and consumer goods accounted for 22.0 per cent and 25.2 per cent of the value of total domestic exports respectively.
“Imports by BEC indicate that the non-food industrial supplies category was the main import category in May 2017 with a 32.0 per cent share,” KNBS reported.
Machinery and other capital equipment, fuel and lubricants, and transport equipment accounted for 18.0, 16.0 and 13.4 per cent, of the total value of imports respectively while food and beverages and other consumer goods stood at 12.6 and 7.8 per cent. The gap between imports and exports grew to Sh454.9 billion in the five months to May, compared to Sh316.2 billion in a similar period last year.
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