Imports from Kenya to Uganda have dropped by 35 per cent in the first quarter of the year, ending the landlocked state’s dominance as top destination for Kenya’s exports.
Provisional data produced by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics indicate that exports to Uganda dropped to Kshs8.58 billion (Shs287b) in the first three months of 2016 compared to Kshs13.3 billion (Shs445b) the same quarter last year.
For the first time in more than a decade, Uganda falls to fourth position after Netherlands which tops the list with Kshs11.89 billion (Shs398 billion) worth of goods followed by UK which ordered Sh10.79 billion (Shs361b) and US which accounted for Kshs9.06 billion (Shs303 billion). Netherlands mainly orders Kenya’s flowers which it sells via its many auctions. Like UK, it is a member of the European Union which has extended duty-and-quota-free terms to Kenya and other developing countries under economic partnership agreements.
Tanzania— which has been consistent in the recent past as second top export destination after Uganda — has also been dislodged to the seventh position after recording marginal drop of Sh5.25 billion compared to Sh5.81 billion the same period last year.
Kenya initially showed strong affinity to the landlocked states in East Africa but of late, Uganda and Rwanda have drifted towards Tanzania with plans to link up their economies through crude pipeline and standard gauge railway line.