BY Daisy Okanga | Kenya’s value of domestic exports rose by 5.3 percent to Ksh144.9 billion in the first quarter of 2020, compared to Ksh137.6 billion in the previous year, according to Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS)
This trend was largely attributed to increases in some leading export commodities which included tea (8.8 %), titanium ores and concentrates (75.4 %), essential oils (31.4 %) and; edible products and preparations (39.3%).
Domestic exports of Food and Beverages by Broad Economic Category classification in the quarter under review rose by 6.9 per cent compared to the same quarter of 2019 and accounted for 44.8 per cent of the domestic exports.
This was majorly attributed to a 6.6 percent increase in exports of primary food and beverages for household consumption.
“Domestic exports of non-food industrial supplies rose by 10.5 per cent in the Q1 of 2020 compared to the corresponding quarter of 2019, mainly driven by increased export of primary industrial supplies (non-food).”
During the quarter under review, import bill rose from Ksh 424.5 billion in the first quarter of 2019 to KSh 426.4 billion in the first quarter of 2020, representing 0.5 percentage point increase.
Imports of industrial machinery, petroleum products and road motor vehicles went up by 24.0, 12.1 and 16.9 per cent, respectively, compared to the same quarter of 2019, and jointly accounted for 32.8 per cent of the total imports.
An increase in the volumes of imported animal and vegetable oils; and medicinal and pharmaceutical products resulted in increased expenditure on these items by 52.2 per cent and 18.8 per cent, respectively.
These commodities jointly contributed Ksh 43.9 billion to the import expenditure in the Q1 of 2020 compared to Ksh 32.2 billion in same quarter of 2019.
Elsewhere, imports of iron and steel declined by 3.5 per cent to Ksh 21.6 billion.
The volume of imported wheat and rice rose by 28.8 percent and 10.2 percent, respectively.
However, there was a marked reduction in importation of maize over the review period from 27.7 thousand tonnes in the first quarter of 2019 to 7.9 thousand tonnes in the same quarter of 2020.