Trade Gap Widens as Export Earnings Recorded A Downward Trend
Kenya’s Imports and exports gap widened in the first two months of the year from Sh175 billion to Sh192 billion in the same period last year.
According to the latest data by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), export earnings decreased from Sh110.7 billion to Sh104 billions of which much of the decrease was blamed on tea after recording poor gains. By comparison, import bills grew slightly by 3.4 percent to a record Sh296 billion, highlighting increasing appetite for foreign goods.
Pakistan ceded its position after being Kenya’s largest consumer of the product. The Kenyan shilling has been exposed due to the fact that fewer dollars are earned despite more hard currencies being needed for the payments of the imports; with the situation being linked to unfavorable terms of trade.
Uganda recorded significant growth in their trade from Sh124 million to Sh10.71 billion while their imports fell by Sh7.94 billion to Sh4.5 billion.
Kenyans for quite some time have been complaining of the neighboring country Uganda flooding the Kenyan market with cheap products such as eggs and clothes.
SGR related imports saw the machinery and transport expenditure rise by 22 percent to Sh86.8 billion. Food imports also recorded a decrease of 24 percent to Sh28.7 billion. Kenyan tea exports decreased to Sh21.46 billion down from Sh26.9 same period last year.
Kenya has struggled to grow her exports over the years, widening her trade deficit to Sh1.145 trillion in 2018 from Sh1.13 trillion the year before.
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