Kenya's export earnings increased by 14 percent from 157.7 billion Kenyan shillings (1.48 billion U.S. dollars) in the first quarter of 2019 to 1.68 billion U.S. dollars in the first quarter of 2020, the national statistics bureau said.
The Kenya National Bureau Statistics (KNBS) said that Kenya's total exports to Asia surged from 383 million dollars in the first quarter of 2019 to 411 million dollars in the quarter under review.
"There were marked increases in total exports to the United Arab Emirates (24.0 percent) and China (23.9 percent)," KNBS said.
According to the statistics agency, the major contributors to the jump in exports were increases in the domestic exports of tea to the United Arab Emirates and titanium ores and concentrates to China, as well as increased re-exports of kerosene-type jet fuel to these two destinations.
"Conversely, there was a decline in exports of articles of copper and disodium carbonate to India resulting in reduced earnings from this destination in the review period," KNBS said in its latest report on the Q1.
It said the African continent remained Kenya's leading export destination registering an increase of 22.3 percent in the total value of exports to 623.3 million U.S. dollars during the first quarter of 2020 and accounted for 36.5 percent of the total exports.
The data agency revealed that export earnings from Rwanda, Uganda, Sudan and South Sudan jointly increased by 107.9 million U.S. dollars from the corresponding quarter of 2019 representing a 45.9 percent increase.
These countries jointly accounted for 55 percent of the total exports to Africa during the period under review, KNBS said.
According to the report, Uganda remained Kenya's leading export destination contributing 28.4 percent of the total export earnings from Africa. However, total exports to Burundi and Somalia fell by 35.5 percent and 18.2 percent, respectively, KNBS added.
The bureau noted that revenues from exports to the European Union fell by 0.7 percent in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the same quarter of 2019.
According to the KNBS, the total export earnings from the Netherlands declined by 9.1 percent in the first quarter of 2020, majorly on account of a decrease in the domestic exports of cut flowers.
The statistical agency revealed that during the same period, total exports to Britain rose by 12.1 percent mainly on account of increased domestic exports of cut flowers.
According to the data agency, there was a drop in total exports to the North American region from 127.6 million dollars in the first quarter of 2019 to 119.2 million dollars in the first quarter of 2020 due to a decline in total exports to Canada. ■