Horticulture and coffee earnings lifted Kenya’s total export revenue to a decade high in the first half of this year.
Data from the Central Bank of Kenya shows the country’s exports in the first six months of this year increased by 16.3 percent to 368 billion shillings.
But despite the record earnings from exports, Kenya’s imports rose fastest in the period to 992 billion shillings.
Earnings from horticulture, vegetables, cut flowers and fruits rose 30.8% to 73.1 billion shillings, while coffee was up 22% to 16.1 billion shillings in the six months to June 2021.
In the period, Kenya exported goods valued at 369 billion shillings which is a ten year high, despite challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The earnings represent a 16.3% increase from 317.1 billion shillings over a similar period in 2020. Most of Kenyan exports were to Uganda, Tanzania, United Kingdom, Netherlands and Rwanda.
Uganda, which was the biggest market for Kenya exported 24.2 tons of coffee worth 16.1 billion shillings during the period according to data from the Central bank.
In the period under review Kenya exported 335 tons of horticulture valued at 68 billion shillings up from 51 billion shillings in 2020.
Tea earnings remained flat at 63 billion shillings after production dropped to 298.5 thousand tons in the first half of the year.
However, despite the record half year earnings, the gap between imports and exports expanded due to increased imports of crude oil, machinery and materials for factories.
Kenya bought goods worth 992 billion shillings, a gap of 623 billion shillings from 460 billion shillings in the same period last year.