China remains Kenya’s largest importer
China’s position as the leading importer into Kenya is firmly grounded. In 2018, the value of Chinese imports exceeded the value of imports from the entire African continent. In that period, imports from the Asian country amounted to $3.72 billion (~KSh372 billion) while imports from African nations were valued at $2.36 billion (~KSh236 billion).
While China is Kenya’s biggest importer, its imports into Kenya declined by 4.7 percent between fiscal year 2017 and 2018. A decrease in the importation of Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) equipment could be the reason behind the lower value of Chinese imports in 2018.
Kenyan exports to China dropped by 38.5 percent to $75 million (KSh0.75 billion) despite an agreement by the governments of China and Kenya to improve trade between the two countries.
Imports from East African nations into Kenya more than doubled to hit a record $0.97 billion (~KSh96.9 billion) from $0.42 billion (KSh41.7 billion) booked in 2017. The sharp increase shows that trade relations within the East African Community have improved. Kenyan exports to EAC slightly decreased by 0.8 percent to hit $1.28 billion (KSh128 billion). Imports into Kenya increased by 13.9 percent while Exports jumped up 6 percent