Tanzania overthrows South Africa as Kenya’s top source of imports to Africa

Economy

Tanzania overthrows South Africa as Kenya’s top source of imports to Africa


Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta (right) and his Tanzanian counterpart, President Samia Suluhu Hassan, speak during the Kenya-Tanzania Business Forum at Serena Hotel on May 5, 2021. NMG PHOTO

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Summary

  • Tanzania has become Kenya’s largest source market on the continent after overtaking South Africa, in part due to increased orders for maize and rice by millers.
  • Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and his counterpart Samia Suluhu pledged in May last year to end the ongoing strained trade relationship between the two largest economies in the six-nation East African Community bloc. .
  • Ms. Suluhu’s visit to Nairobi sparked a series of joint trade meetings aimed at ironing out barriers to the movement of goods.

Tanzania has become Kenya’s largest source market on the continent after overtaking South Africa, in part due to increased orders for maize and rice by millers.

Official trade statistics show that spending on goods transported by truck from Tanzania nearly doubled last year to 54.47 billion shillings from 27.88 billion shillings the previous year.

The 95.38% or 26.59 billion shillings surge in imports propelled Tanzania to the top spot in Africa after orders from South Africa fell 3.72% to 44.08 billion shillings, according to data compiled by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS).

“Imports from Tanzania nearly doubled from Sh27.9 billion in 2020 to Sh54.5 billion in 2021, partly due to increased imports of maize and rice from that country” , KNBS analysts wrote in the 2022 Economic Survey.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and his counterpart Samia Suluhu pledged in May last year to end the ongoing strained trade relationship between the two largest economies in the six-nation East African Community bloc. which have, for years, hampered the flow of goods and services.

Ms. Suluhu’s visit to Nairobi sparked a series of joint trade meetings aimed at ironing out barriers to the movement of goods.

For example, Trade Minister Betty Maina and her Tanzanian counterpart, Professor Kitila Mkumbo, led delegations to a four-day meeting in Arusha – the headquarters of the EAC secretariat – a few weeks after the two presidents met. met in Nairobi to settle unresolved trade disputes.

KNBS data shows that Kenya’s exports to Tanzania also jumped by 43.12% to 45.56 billion shillings, bringing the trade balance in favor of Dar es Salaam to 8.91 billion shillings.

Kenyan traders have turned to Tanzania as a source market for unmilled maize in a year, domestic production has fallen by 12.8% to 36.7 million bags in 2021, from 42.1 million bags the year previous.

KNBS data shows that the cost of importing a ton of maize into the country increased to an average of Sh28,260 last year from Sh27,279.6 the previous year, an average of Sh2,543. Sh per 90 kg bag.

Maize imports jumped 77.9% last year to 486,525.0 tonnes, marking the highest volumes since 529,558.3 ​​tonnes in 2018, when the country emerged from a biting drought a year earlier. early that had prompted millers and traders to place orders from as far away as Mexico.

Maize imports, where Tanzania was one of the main markets, cost 13.75 billion shillings from 7.46 billion shillings, the biggest expenditure since 40.265.0 billion shillings in 2017, according to the KNBS.

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