Kenya’s exports to Tanzania in the first four months of this year have fallen by 31 percent compared to a similar period in 2014.

exportsThe exports have been on the decline since the last quarter of 2014, with the drop continuing into this year as Tanzania scales down imports from Kenya, new economic data from Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) indicated Friday.

In the first four months of this year, the KNBS data showed that exports to Tanzania totalled 78 million dollars, down from 114 million dollars in a similar period last year.
In 2014, Kenya’s total exports to Tanzania stood at 342 million dollars, a drop from 359 million dollars in 2013, according to the KNBS.

Kenya exports to Tanzania mainly fuel products and consumer goods. The fuel products, in particular, are exported to northern Tanzania, while consumer goods Kenya has been exporting to its neighbour include palm oil, oil and vegetable fats, iron, sugar confectionary and margarine.
On the other hand, Kenya imports maize, rice, textiles, animal products, tubes and pipes, oil seeds and vegetables from Tanzania.

The trade has been in favour of Kenya for years, with Tanzania until recently remaining the country’s top second destination of exports, a position it has now lost to Netherlands.

Netherlands is now Kenya’s second largest destination of exports, with the country importing goods from the East African nation worth 134 million dollars from January to April. Britain stood third with 130 million dollars.
Uganda, Kenya’s largest destination of exports, imported goods worth 175 million dollars from Kenya in the first four months this year, an increase from 162 million dollars in the same period last year.

Analysts blame the drop of Kenya’s export to Tanzania to the flooding of goods from other countries, especially Asian nations, in the country’s market, as well as the “bad blood” between the two countries.

While Tanzania is a member of the East Africa Community, it has recently not been at the forefront of cooperating with its neighbours in various projects in the region.

A case in point is the one-single Visa project that was being spearheaded by Kenya. While Uganda embraced the idea, Tanzania has not. The country has also been at loggerheads with Kenya over tour vans access to airports and national parks.

“While at face value Kenya and Tanzania are best of friend, behind the screens things are not rosy, and this can be attested by the drop in exports. Tanzania is now sourcing most of its goods from elsewhere as it cuts imports from Kenya,” noted Ernest Manuyo, a business management lecturer in a private university in Nairobi. Enditem

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