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Kenya’s import bill falls slightly in H1

Kenya’s import bill declined marginally in the first half of 2023 due to a fall in government imports, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) said in new economic data on Thursday.

The import bill slipped to 1.23 trillion shillings (about 8.41 billion U.S. dollars) in the first half of 2023 from 8.5 billion dollars in a similar period in 2022, according to the central bank.

The government’s import bill in the six months stood at 185 million dollars, down from 300 million dollars in a similar period in 2022, noted the bank.
However, commercial imports sustained an upward trend, standing at 8.21 billion dollars in the first six months, an increase from 8.2 billion dollars in the same period in 2022, according to the bank.

The central bank attributes the fall in the import bill to the slight decline in infrastructure-related imports following the completion of various projects during the period. Other reasons were a decline in the importation of manufactured goods and the easing of global crude oil prices to an average of 60 dollars per barrel between April and June.

According to the CBK, the value of exports surged, boosted by tea and horticulture shipments. The value of tea exports stood at 432 million dollars in the first half of the year and have been on the surge due to a “rise in prices in traditional markets.”

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