• The value of Kenya's main exports declined by 3.1 per cent to Sh137.5 billion in the first quarter of 2019 compared to Sh141.9 billion registered in a similar period in 2018 .
• According to Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, the decline was mainly on account of decreased foreign earnings from tea and titanium ores and concentrates.
The value of Kenya's main exports declined by 3.1 per cent to Sh137.5 billion in the first quarter of 2019 compared to Sh141.9 billion registered in a similar period in 2018 .
Tea, horticulture, apparel and clothing accessories and unroasted coffee top as the country's leading foreign exchange earners.
According to Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, the decline was on account of decreased revenues from tea and titanium ores and concentrates.
Exports of titanium ores and tea declined to Sh3 billion from Sh4.19 billion, and to Sh31.37 billion from Sh40.09 billion respectively.
“The reduction in international price of tea partly contributed to the decrease in the value of tea exported which dropped from Sh307.71 per kilogramme to Sh237.54 per kg over the period,” it stated.
The data also attributed the drop in earnings from domestic exports of tea to Pakistan to Sh13.05 billion from sh18.61 billion.
This led to an overall decline in total exports to Far East Asia. Total exports to Asia fell by 20.9 per cent from Sh51.7 billion in the first quarter of 2018 to Sh 40.9 billion.
Total value of exports declined to Sh156.9 billion, from Sh161.7 billion over the period.
Export earnings of horticultural products however went up by seven per cent to Sh36.8 billion in the first quarter of 2019 to become the leading foreign exchange earner.
Clothing and apparel earned the country Sh7.65 billion, slightly more from Sh7.47 billion.
Total exports to Africa were valued at Sh53.4 billion, accounting for 34.1 per cent of total exports.
Exports to Uganda were valued at Sh16.2 billion and accounted for 30.4 per cent of total exports to Africa during the review period.
Export earnings to the European Union were 6.6 per cent higher at Sh40.1 billion, while the products sold in United States of America similarly rose by 31.9 per cent to Sh12.2 billion.
Generally, current account balance improved by 32.7 per cent to a deficit of Sh78.8 billion from a deficit of Sh117.1 billion in the corresponding quarter of 2018.
The narrowing was attributed to decline in decrease in merchandise trade deficit with increase in net service inflows.