Nairobi — Kenya's value of domestic exports in the first quarter of 2020 rose by 5.3 per cent to Sh144.9 billion compared to Sh137.6 billion the same quarter in 2019, a new report has shown.
The report by Kenya National Bureau of Statistics said the rise is largely on account of increases in some leading export commodities which included tea by 8.8 percent, titanium ores and concentrates by 75.4 percent, essential oils by 31.4 percent and edible products and preparations by 39.3 percent.
On the other hand, domestic exports of horticulture and coffee declined by 4.1 percent and 10.2 percent, respectively.
During the quarter, domestic exports of Food and Beverages by Broad Economic Category classification rose by 6.9 percent compared to the same quarter of 2019 and accounted for 44.8 percent of the domestic exports.
KNBS has attributed this to a 6.6 percent increase in exports of primary food and beverages for household consumption.
Similarly, domestic exports of non-food industrial supplies rose by 10.5 percent in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the corresponding quarter of 2019, mainly driven by increased export of primary industrial supplies (non-food).
Value of Imports
Import bill rose from Sh424.5 billion in the first quarter of 2019 to Sh426.4 billion in the first quarter of 2020.
During the quarter under review, imports of industrial machinery, petroleum products and road motor vehicles went up by 24.0, 12.1 and 16.9 percent, respectively, compared to the same quarter of 2019, and jointly accounted for 32.8 percent of the total imports.
Further, 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 percent and 18.8 percent, respectively.
These commodities jointly contributed Sh43.9 billion to the import expenditure in the first quarter of 2020 compared to Sh32.2 billion in same quarter of 2019.
Conversely, in the same period, imports of iron and steel declined by 3.5 per cent to Sh21.6 billion.
The volume of imported wheat and rice rose by 28.8 percent and 10.2 percent, respectively in the first quarter of 2020 compared to a similar period in 2019.
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.
Expenditure on non-food industrial supplies by Broad Economic Category continued to account for the largest portion of the import bill standing at 36.5 percent of total imports in the first quarter of 2020 in comparison to a share of 35.2 percent in the same period in 2019.
Imports of processed non-food industrial supplies increased by 4.4 percent from Sh141.8 billion in first quarter of 2019 to Sh148 billion in the first quarter of 2020.
Imports of parts and accessories of machinery and other equipment went up by 89.9 percent to Sh19.3 billion.
Similarly, imports of motor spirit rose by 34.4 percent during the review period.
On the contrary, imports of machinery and other equipment dropped by 19.7 percent from Sh68.7 billion in first quarter 2019 to Sh55.1 billion in the first quarter of 2020.