Horticulture exports decline by Sh2.8bn on avocado restrictions


Avocados for exports. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Horticulture exports retreated by Sh2.8 billion in the 12 months to April 2022, weighed down by lower avocado sales in a period when the country instituted export restrictions aimed at stopping sale of immature fruit.

The latest data from Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) released yesterday shows that horticulture sales dipped to $1.04 billion (Sh121.9 billion) from $1.07 billion (Sh124.9) in the 12-months to April 2021.

This was in contrast to other agriculture exports, where tea exports rose from $1.2 billion (Sh140 billion) to $1.22 billion (Sh142.4 billion), while coffee sales rose by $41 million (Sh4.8 billion) to $278 million (Sh32.5 billion). The increase in receipts from tea exports reflects improved prices attributed to demand from traditional markets, the CBK said.

“We understand there were some problems in exports of avocados, which gave rise to this decline instead of the increase that we were expecting. But that problem has now been resolved, and we understand that now the exports are finding their way to the market,” said CBK governor Patrick Njoroge in a briefing.

The CBK also noted that manufacturing exports had underperformed in the period against expectations of much higher growth.

Manufactured goods sales, largely to regional countries, only went up by $33 million (Sh3.9 billion) to $454 million (Sh53 billion) in the period.

“Manufacturing could have been a lot stronger in the context of the neighbouring countries now receiving our products, and the exchange rate should be supportive of exports,” said Dr Njoroge.

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