The imports of China into the Kenyan market hit 113 billion shillings with the amount having been driven by the purchase of the equipment to build the just concluded Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) further widening the gap in terms of trade balance between Kenya and China.
According to the statistics released by the Kenya Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), the value of Kenya’s imports from China rose from 65.3 billion shillings in the first three months in 2016 to 113.6 billion shillings for the same period in 2017. According to the statistics, the imports were mainly tied to the Standard Gauge Railway equipment.
The rise in China’s imports in Kenya is an equivalent to a 74 percent increase. India came is the second largest exporter to Kenya with goods worth 47.8 billion shillings for the first three months this year. By the end of the month of March this year, Kenya had received 8 freights, 5 passengers and 2 shunting locomotives, 330 goods wagons, and 30 passenger coaches.
The imports from China are expected to go higher up as the entire stock of SGR supply will still come from the Asian economic giant. A total of 43 freight locomotives, 5 passengers, 8 shunting locomotives, 1,620 wagons and 40 passenger wagons will come from China. The SGR has cost the taxpayer 327 billion shillings.
The total imports for Kenya for the first three months in 2017 rose to 422.7 billion shillings from 355.7 billion shillings in the first three months of 2016 with China taking the bulk of it. The transport equipment took 55 billion shillings being an increase by 62 percent from 33.7 billion shillings while the capital goods consumed 86.4 billion shillings bring a rise by 26 percent from 68.1 billion shillings. Imports from China fell by 9 billion shillings while those from Japan drifted downwards to 18.9 billion shillings from 20.5 billion shillings in 2016.