The trade deficit in Kenya, East Africa’s largest economy, widened in April as tea exports slumped and imports rose, the country’s statistics agency said.
The gap increased to 62.7 billion shillings ($744.7 million), from 47.6 billion shillings a year earlier, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics said today in a statement on its website.
Imports advanced to 102.8 billion shillings in April, up 18 percent from a year earlier because of a jump in the cost of food and transport equipment, while exports increased 2 percent to 40 billion shillings, the agency said.
Shipments of tea from Kenya, the world’s largest exporter of the black variety of the leaves, fell 16 percent to 26,816 metric tons, earning 6.8 billion shillings, 15 percent lower than the year before. Output dropped 42 percent to 18,118 tons.
Coffee exports rose to 4,625 tons, from 4,254 tons, while horticulture shipments declined to 18,482 tons from 23,448 tons.
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