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Market News

China, Saudi dominate Sh106 billion imports in July

A cargo ship docks at the port of Mombasa.
A cargo ship at the port of Mombasa. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Goods from China, Saudi Arabia, India, South Africa and Japan accounted for 80 per cent of imports last July even as the countries made insignificant purchases from Kenya.

Machinery, construction materials and consumer items were among items worth Sh35.3 billion bought from China making up 33.14 per cent of the total Sh106.5 billion. They were followed by Saudi Arabia that mainly sold petroleum products valued at Sh21.45 billion.

China accounts for 25 per cent of Kenyan imports bill under the current common external tariff structure of zero per cent, 10 per cent and 25 per cent for raw materials, intermediate goods and final goods respectively.

India sold drugs, electrical transformers, IT equipment and iron-rolled products, among others, worth Sh14.3 billion with Japan-based traders receiving Sh9.15 billion, mostly for motor vehicles’ purchase.

South African exports were valued at Sh6 billion. Pakistan was the leading buyer of Kenyan exports, mainly raw tea worth Sh5.35 billion, with American traders buying clothing and flowers worth Sh5.33 billion.

The US sold Kenya goods worth Sh3.93 billion. Trade between the two is expected to grow starting November when direct cargo and passenger flights from JKIA to New York’s JF Kennedy Airport start operating next week. Uganda maintained its top position as Kenya’s biggest East African partner buying goods worth Sh3.7 billion compared to June’s Sh4.35 billion, while Tanzania settled for Sh1.93 billion up from June’s Sh1.8 billion.

Rwanda received goods worth Sh1.4 billion from Kenya, while the Netherlands bought goods worth Sh3.62 billion and exported to Kenya Sh1.3 billion cargo.

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