Kenya’s Export Performance in 2018

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1.1    Introduction
The provisional 2018 Kenya Trade Statistics from Kenya National Bureau of Statistics indicate that the structure of export markets and products remain largely unchanged. Overall, the balance of trade deficit rose by 1.42% from Kshs. 1.13 trillion in 2017 to Kshs. 1.15 trillion in 2018.

The analysis indicates that;

  • Exports grew in value from Kshs. 594 billion in 2017 to Kshs. 613 billion in 2018 (an increase of 3.2%) while imports grew from Kshs. 1.73 trillion in 2017 to Kshs. 1.76 trillion in 2018 (an increase of 2.0%).
  • The balance of trade deficit therefore rose from Kshs. 1.13 trillion in 2017 to Kshs. 1.15 trillion in 2018 (an increase of 1.42%).
  • The major exports in 2018 included tea, horticulture, petroleum products, apparels and coffee all contributing for 58.4% of the merchandise exports, while the major imports were petroleum oil products, crude palm oil, industrial machinery, motor vehicles and medicaments.
  • In 2018, Uganda regained top position as Kenya’s lead market for merchandise exports with her imports slightly increasing from Kshs. 61.8 billion in 2017 to Kshs. 61.9 billion in 2018 (an increase by 0.1%); followed by Pakistan who imported products worth Kshs. 59.4 billion in 2018 down from Kshs. 64.1 billion in 2017 (a decrease of 7.9%); and USA who imported goods worth Kshs. 47.34 billion in 2018 up from Kshs. 47.26 billion in 2017 (a slight increase of 0.15%).
  • The leading 11 countries absorbed exports worth more than Kshs 15 billion

1.2 Top 25 Export Markets in 2018

Ten of the top twenty-five markets are in Africa.
The export products to Pakistan, Egypt, and Sudan remain mainly tea
The exports to regional countries of Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Somalia and DRC import mainly oil products, manufactured products- including food, cooking oils, beverages; construction materials-cement and iron/steel products, articles of plastics, and pharmaceuticals, among others
Notable increases were exports to Qatar and India at 58.1% and 52.2% respectively

1.3  Top Ten Export markets 2017 & 2018-By % share.

source: KNBS 2019, Compiled by EPC

1.4        Top export products 2018

Rank 2018

PRODUCT

Value( Kshs Billions)

% share of total exports

1

Tea

138.84

22.65

2

Horticulture

124.45

20.30

3

Petroleum products

37.06

6.05

4

Articles of apparel

34.48

5.63

5

Coffee

23.09

3.77

6

Titanium Ores

15.36

2.51

7

Tobacco products

14.15

2.31

8

Pharmaceutical products

13.27

2.16

9

Iron and steel

13.25

2.16

10

Essential oils

12.43

2.03

11

Machinery and parts

10.04

1.64

12

Organic & inorganic chemicals

9.63

1.57

13

Animal & Vegetable oils

9.52

1.55

14

Edible preparations

9.39

1.53

15

Vehicles, parts & accessories

8.51

1.39

16

Articles of plastic

7.30

1.19

17

Printed Materials

6.44

1.05

18

Electrical machinery

5.76

0.94

19

Meat

5.49

0.90

20

Zinc ores

5.37

0.88

 

All other products

109.09

17.80

 

Total

612.93

100.00

source: KNBS 2019, Compiled by EPC

The share contribution by top ten products accounted for about 69.6% while the top 20 products accounted for 82.2% share of merchandise exports for the year 2018.
The top export products were namely; tea, horticulture and petroleum products.
Other export products in 2018 included: iron and steel, printed materials, animal/ vegetable oil products and meat.

 1.5 Top export products by share in 2018

1.6    Markets Where Kenya’s Exports Grew in 2018

 

 

Value (Kshs Billions)

 

Rank 2018

COUNTRY

EXPORTS 2018

EXPORTS 2017

CHANGE 2017 to 2018

% Change Year 2017 to 2018

 

1

United Arab Emirates

35.01

26.37

8.64

32.76

 

2

India

9.10

5.98

3.12

52.15

 

3

Netherlands

46.37

43.89

2.47

5.64

 

4

Thailand

7.26

5.00

2.26

45.14

 

5

Saudi Arabia

10.02

7.85

2.17

27.69

 

6

Qatar

5.87

3.71

2.16

58.13

 

7

United Kingdom

40.19

38.55

1.64

4.25

 

8

South Africa

4.39

2.76

1.63

59.03

 

9

Spain

4.44

2.96

1.48

49.97

 

10

Taiwan

5.19

3.77

1.42

37.80

 

11

Zambia

5.29

3.87

1.42

36.74

 

12

Tanzania

29.75

28.52

1.23

4.32

 

13

China

11.13

10.00

1.14

11.36

 

14

Egypt

20.13

19.01

1.12

5.89

 

15

Rwanda

17.84

17.12

0.72

4.19

 

16

Ghana

1.26

0.54

0.72

131.96

 

17

Iran

2.17

1.52

0.65

42.67

 

18

Afghanistan

3.77

3.15

0.63

19.89

 

19

Australia

2.88

2.28

0.59

26.00

 

20

Russia Fed.

8.57

8.00

0.58

7.20

 

21

Hong Kong

6.99

6.41

0.58

8.98

 

22

Japan

5.07

4.50

0.57

12.60

 

23

Italy

3.97

3.41

0.56

16.41

 

24

Vietnam

2.03

1.49

0.54

36.61

 

25

Oman

2.00

1.49

0.51

34.31

 

 

All Other

322.24

341.98

   

 

 

Total

612.93

594.13

18.80

3.16

 

 

 Source: KNBS 2019, Compiled by EPC.

There was a significant increase in exports from Kenya to; United Arab Emirates (by Kshs 8.6 billion), India (by Kshs 3.1 billion), Netherlands (by Kshs 2.5 billion), Thailand, (by Kshs 2.3 billion) and Saudi Arabia (by Kshs 2.2 billion).
Other countries that registered export growth above Kshs 1 billion were; South Africa, China, Tanzania and Taiwan.

1.7        Markets where exports dropped in 2018

 

 

Value (Kshs Billions)

 

Rank 2018

COUNTRY

EXPORTS 2018

EXPORTS 2017

CHANGE

% change year 2017 to 2018

1

Pakistan

59.39

64.06

(4.67)

(7.29)

2

Somalia

15.07

19.66

(4.59)

(23.34)

3

South Sudan

12.96

16.75

(3.79)

(22.63)

4

DR.Congo

15.18

18.88

(3.70)

(19.61)

5

Yemen

4.89

6.39

(1.50)

(23.44)

6

Mexico

1.17

2.09

(0.91)

(43.76)

7

Burundi

6.59

7.38

(0.79)

(10.69)

8

Sudan

6.20

6.91

(0.70)

(10.21)

9

Ethiopia

6.34

6.98

(0.64)

(9.18)

10

Germany

11.16

11.74

(0.58)

(4.94)

11

Bahrain

0.46

0.97

(0.52)

(53.16)

12

Canada

3.14

3.63

(0.49)

(13.59)

13

Kazakhstan

2.95

3.43

(0.48)

(14.08)

14

Nigeria

2.23

2.65

(0.42)

(15.76)

15

Bulgaria

0.05

0.44

(0.39)

(88.41)

16

Zimbabwe

1.15

1.51

(0.36)

(23.85)

17

Lesotho

0.01

0.33

(0.31)

(95.79)

18

Finland

0.74

1.03

(0.29)

(28.44)

19

Latvia

0.24

0.48

(0.24)

(49.66)

20

Bolivia

0.02

0.21

(0.19)

(91.86)

21

Brazil

0.09

0.28

(0.19)

(68.26)

22

Jordan

1.45

1.59

(0.14)

(9.06)

23

Greece

0.40

0.54

(0.14)

(25.84)

24

Djibouti

0.64

0.78

(0.14)

(17.77)

25

Bermuda

0.00

0.14

(0.14)

(99.95)

 

All other

460.41

415.29

   
 

Total

612.93

594.13

18.80

3.16

Source: KNBS 2019, Compiled by EPC.

There was a significant decrease in exports from Kenya in; Pakistan (by Kshs 4.7 billion), Somalia (by Kshs 4.6 billion), South Sudan (by Kshs 3.8 billion), DRC, (by Kshs 3.7 billion) and Yemen (by Kshs 1.5 billion).

 

 

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