Kenyan exports recovered to post an 11.7 percent growth last year to Ksh.765.2 billion ($6.739 billion) according to provisional data from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK).
Most of the exports by broad economic category recorded a double-digit rate of growth in the calendar year with manufactured goods posting the highest jump at 33.4 percent.
Other notable export gains cover raw materials (25.1 percent), horticulture (18.8 percent), raw materials (25.1 percent), and coffee (15.3 percent).
Tea exports and re-exports were the only goods categories to falter, having declined by 2.7 and 2.6 percent respectively to Ksh.135.5 billion ($1.193 billion) and Ksh.80.2 billion ($706 million).
The drop in tea exports has been attributed to the normalization of sales after importers destination countries stepped back on stock-piling the green-leaf after initial interruption fears in 2020.
Meanwhile, imports have grown ahead of exports registering a 23.6 percent rate of growth to Ksh.1.8 trillion ($16 billion). Oil imports jumped by 50 percent in the calendar year to Ksh.222.6 billion ($1.96 billion) to anchor down the general rise in import costs for the year.
The higher oil import bill is attributable to the recovery in global oil prices across 2021 following the reopening of global economies to commerce at ease to widespread restrictions.
Kenya's current account deficit (CAD) has as a result of the higher imports jumped to 5.4 percent of GDP from an estimated 5.2 percent but remains within CBK's sweet spot.
"This points to stability and a well-behaved forex exchange market supporting what has happened so far," CBK Governor Patrick said on Thursday.
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