Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Kenya’s trade hits pre-COVID-19 levels

FILE PHOTO: Kenya’s Mombasa port. East Africa’s busiest at handling imports. Photographer: Trevor Snapp/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Kenya’s imports and exports have surged to hit pre-COVID-19 levels as countries open their borders boosting international trade, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) said in a new report released on Friday.

The report shows that the east African nation imports currently average at 161 billion shillings (1.5 billion U.S. dollars) a month, which is the level the imports stood in January 2020, before the outbreak of COVID-19 in Kenya in March. Similarly, monthly exports average 447 million dollars, a level they stood before the pandemic.

In May, Kenya’s imports fell to a low of 991 million dollars amid tough restrictions of international trade and movement of people.

Most of the imports come from China, followed by India and the United Arab Emirates. South Africa, Britain and United States are Kenya’s other sources of imports that include oil and lubricants, manufactured goods and machinery.

Total imports in 2020 stood at 15 billion dollars, down from 17 billion in 2019.

On the other hand, despite the pandemic, exports rose in 2020 to stand at 5.9 billion dollars, up from 5.4 billion dollars.

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