Chinese and Indian imports have fallen 14 percent and 11 percent respectively as companies react to slower demand for consumer goods in the country.
Data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) shows a fall in industrial supplies and consumer goods that saw imports from China dip by Sh41.4 billion to Sh250.7 billion in the nine months to September.
Kenya mainly imports machinery and consumer goods from the world’s second largest economy. Transport goods related to the standard gauge railway (SGR) have been among the costly items.
However, with the completion of the second phase of the SGR and softening of the economy, companies have delayed building up on inventories even as the festive shopping season beckons.
India, from where Kenya imports mineral fuels, industrial raw materials and pharmaceuticals, saw a Sh15.4 billion decline in imports from Sh145.9 billion in third quarter last year to Sh130.4 billion in a similar period in 2019.
Markit Stanbic Bank Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for November indicated that new orders by Kenyan firms grew at the slowest pace in six months, owing to tough economic condition and raising inflation that has led to decline in spending income.
"The future output sub-index still indicates that firms are cautious on activity over the coming year,” Stanbic Bank Regional Economist East Africa, Jibran Qureishi said.