Kenya’s goods trade surplus with Africa reached record levels in the first three months of the year driven by the fastest growth in exports for 12 years and a first fall in expenditure on imports in three years, official data shows.

Traders sold goods worth Ksh98.85 billion ($712.69 million) to African countries in the January-March 2023 period against an import bill of Ksh61.72 billion ($444.99 million), according to provisional data collated by the Central Bank of Kenya.

Earnings from exports in the period were 23.33 percent higher than the previous year, the strongest growth since 2011, while imports fell 6.02 percent year-on-year from Ksh65.67 billion ($473.47 million) in 2022.

This resulted in a merchandise trade surplus of Ksh37.14 billion ($267.77 million) for the review period, a 156.45 percent climb over the same period last year.

The widening gap in exports and imports largely helped with increased goods trade with Uganda amidst a drop with Tanzania, the data suggests.

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