Kenya’s external trade grew to Ksh.191 billion in July


Kenya’s external trade grew to Ksh.191 billion in July
Containers are seen at the main port in the Kenyan coastal city of Mombasa March 7, 2013. REUTERS/Marko Djurica

In Summary

  • The rebound in trade coincides with ongoing ease to COVID-19 restrictions which disrupted global commerce activities at the start of the second quarter of 2020.
  • The broadened external trade in the month reconnected domestic enterprises to crucial external markets while providing for key flows of raw input materials through importation.
  • Local enterprises marked an improvement in effective demand as new orders grew for the first time since January with the European market pushing up new export orders.

The value of Kenya’s external trade volume grew by 12.4 per cent to Ksh.190.8 billion in the month of July from Ksh.169.7 billion in June.

The rebound in trade coincides with ongoing ease to COVID-19 restrictions which disrupted global commerce activities at the start of the second quarter of 2020.

Kenya’s volume of trade has for instance slacked to an year low Ksh.155.9 billion during the month of May with the value of exports and imports sitting at a low Ksh.43.2 billion and Ksh.108.7 billion respectively.

Exports rose by 8.3 per cent in July to Ksh.58 billion while imports went up by 14.1 per cent to Ksh.138.8 billion.

The broadened external trade in the month reconnected domestic enterprises to crucial external markets while providing for key flows of raw input materials through importation.

The recovery in overall trade is mirrored by the July purchasing managers index (PMI) by Stanbic bank which marked its positive change in over seven months since November 2019.

Local enterprises marked an improvement in effective demand as new orders grew for the first time since January with the European market pushing up new export orders.

Output levels rose at their fastest pace since May of 2018 forcing firms to stack up input goods in anticipation of the normalization of demand.

The month of July saw the easing of restrictions among them a revision of curfew hours to between 9:00pm and 4:00 am allowing employees to enjoy a full complement of working hours during the day.

The volume of trade through the first seven months of the year remains behind last year’s total of Ksh.1.4 trillion at Ksh.1.28 trillion.

Kenya’s external trade averaged Ksh.200 billion a month in 2019.

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Story By Kepha Muiruri
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