Bloomberg News

Kenyan Trade Gap Widened 44 Percent in September on Food Imports

November 23, 2011

Nov. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Kenya’s trade deficit widened in September, reflecting the soaring cost of food and fuel imports, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics said.

The gap increased 44 percent from a year earlier to 77.4 billion shillings ($857 million), the Nairobi-based statistics office said on its website today. Imports jumped 40 percent to 123.7 billion shillings, while exports climbed 32 percent to 46.3 billion shillings.

Kenya’s shilling lost about one-quarter of its value against the dollar in the nine months through September, making imported products more expensive.

Kenya, the world’s largest producer of black tea, exported 26,430 metric tons of the leaves in September, down 8 percent from a year earlier, while coffee sales fell 17 percent to 3,317 metric tons in the period. The value of tea exported jumped to 7.7 billion shillings, FROM 6.4 billion shillings a year earlier, as prices rose, the agency said.

--Editors: Ben Holland, Heather Langan.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah McGregor in Nairobi at smcgregor5@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net.


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