Horticulture earnings grow by Sh18bn on bullish dollar

Roses for export

Roses being prepared for export. 

Photo credit: File | Reuters

Horticultural firms have had a good run this year, mainly due to the weak shilling after their exports earned 34 percent more even though volumes dropped by 92 percent.

Within the January to July period, horticultural exports earned Kenya Sh18.8 billion more, compared to a similar period last year.

From January to the end of July, Kenya exported 229,418.9 tonnes of cut flowers, fruits and vegetables. The exports were down from 2.98 million tonnes exported during a similar period last year.

However, earnings grew from Sh54.75 billion to Sh73.57 billion, reflecting the positive impact that the depreciation of the shilling has had on exports.

“The quantity of cut flowers exported increased from 8,931.54MT in June 2023 to 11,715.32MT in July 2023. Additionally, the value of cut flowers exported increased from Sh5.18 billion to Sh6.9 billion during the same period,” the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) states in an August report.

The August Leading Economic Indicators shows that 78,799.17 tonnes of cut flowers were exported in the first seven months of 2023, down from 2.89 million tonnes during a similar period last year.

The exports last year were high due to the performance in March 2022, when 1.4 million tonnes of flowers were exported, compared to the 12,936.78 tonnes exported in March this year.

At Sh45 billion, the value of the flower exports this year was, however, higher by eight percent this year, against the Sh41.7 billion they brought into the country last year.

The quantity of fruits exported during the first seven months of 2023 nearly doubled to 111,678.76 tonnes, but the value rose 138 percent to Sh17.6 billion.

Vegetable exports jumped from 23,056.93 tonnes to 38,941.03 tonnes, an 68.9 percent increase, while the money earned from its exports rose by 94 percent to Sh10.9 billion.

The shilling depreciated against the dollar by 20.5 percent between August last year and this year.

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