Rwanda's Exports Grow By 37%

22 September 2022

Rwanda's export in value increased by 37.2 percent in the first six months of 2022, mainly driven by strong domestic manufacturing activities and the opening up of borders in line with economic recovery.

The overall export receipt mounted to $708.3 million, up from $516.2 million a year earlier.

During the first half of 2021, exports grew by 46.4 percent.

This was announced on September 22, during the presentation of Monetary Policy and Financial Stability Statement by the Central Bank that assessed the economic performance of the first half of the year and prospects for the rest of the year.

John Rwangombwa, Central Bank Governor, said the growth is attributed to the increase in manufactured goods exported in the region through World Food Programme to South Sudan, Kenya, and Uganda.

Delegates follow the presentation of Monetary Policy and Financial Stability Statement in Kigali on September 22.

Traditional exports such as minerals, coffee and tea registered a 39.4 percent growth while non-traditional exports (manufactured products and horticulture) increased by 25.2 percent and re-exports by 40.7 percent.

DR Congo remained the largest destination of Rwanda's exports on the continent.

On the other hand, the imports into the country also grew by 22.5 percent amounting to $1,817 million in the same period linked to domestic recovery of the economy.

"As the economy was opening up, demand for imports increased, especially the intermediate goods for manufacturing, and the rising commodity prices where our bill for oil imports increased by more than 90 percent in the first half of this year," said Rwangombwa.

Imports of intermediate goods including industrial products, construction materials and fertilizers increased by 28.9 percent amounting to $510.2 million in the first half of 2022.

The exports against imports has consequently widened the trade deficit by 13.7 percent in the period under review.

Besides the lingering effects of the pandemic in supply chains, the governor pointed at the continued rise in global commodity prices that has weighed heavily on the economy of Rwanda.

"If we were only dealing with imported inflation, we wouldn't have a double digit number now but the slow agriculture performance is also a factor for domestic inflation," he expounded.

However, the Central Bank figures indicated that domestic food production reduced by 1.2 percent in the first half of the year due to poor weather conditions.

The annual inflation is projected to be at 12.1 percent, however, Rwangombwa said that it will oscillate within the Central Bank's bound between 2 and 8 percent against a benchmark of 5 percent.

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