Connect with us

Business News

Imports from China fall in 2018 on less SGR machinery

Published

on


Economy

Imports from China fell in 2018 for the first time is as many years after the completion of the first phase of the standard gauge railway (SGR) mid last year, official data indicate. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Imports from China fell in 2018 for the first time is as many years after the completion of the first phase of the standard gauge railway (SGR) mid last year, official data indicate.

Imports from China, largely machinery and transportation equipment, fell by Sh9.38 billion in the nine months through September, data by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics show. Beijing shipped in goods worth Sh292.2 billion in the January-September period compared with Sh301.60 billion the same period in 2017. The data shows shipment of machinery dropped in the period to Sh211.11 billion compared with Sh245.9 billion a year earlier, while transport equipment imports were nearly flat at Sh148.96 billion compared with Sh145.7 billion.

The two commodities have largely been major drivers of China’s export bill to Kenya after Beijing landed a lucrative $3.233 billion loan (Sh327.87 billion under prevailing rates) to build a 385km modern railway between Mombasa and Nairobi.

President Uhuru Kenyatta commissioned passenger operations on the line on June 1, 2017, while cargo services were launched at the beginning of this year.

Deals to build mega roads projects as well as the first (Mombasa-Nairobi) and second Sh153 billion (Nairobi-Naivasha) phase of SGR line have propelled China to become the country’s largest source of imports. That growth in imports has not been replicated in exports to China which have remained low, falling marginally to Sh9.998 billion in 2017 from Sh10.060 billion a year earlier.

Kenya has made penetration of value-added farm produce such as tea, coffee and fruits into China and India a priority in the new exports strategy she unveiled on July 31, seeking to more than triple total exports in four years.

The ambitious Integrated National Exports Development and Promotion Strategy targets to grow exports, which stood at Sh594.13 billion in 2017, by 25 per cent every year to Sh1.8 trillion in 2022.

Nairobi and Beijing last month signed a memorandum of understanding on the sidelines of the week-long China International Import Expo to establish a joint working group to reduce trade barriers between the two countries, including phytosanitary standards, which will open up the populous market to fresh produce exports.

Comments

comments

Facebook

Trending