Kenya’s earnings from flowers, fruits, and vegetable exports fell to the lowest level in more than two years in September, driven by a weaker Euro and Sterling pound.
Data from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) shows horticulture export earnings dropped five per cent to KES 8.8 billion, down from KES 9.3 billion in August, the lowest returns from exports of the three commodities since September 2020 when Kenya earned KES 8.5 billion from horticulture exports.
This is the fourth consecutive monthly drop in earnings from fruits, vegetables, and flowers exports, and comes despite an increase in the quantity of the exports.
As the earnings dropped 5 per cent, the quantity exported went up by 5.5 per cent to 41,592 tonnes, up from 39,406 tonnes in August. Earnings from fruits exports went down to KES 3.2 billion from KES 3.6 billion as the quantity of exported fruits dropped to 15,489 tonnes down from 16,173 tonnes.
Meanwhile, the quantity of exported cut flowers grew to 8,881 tonnes from 8,618 tonnes, with earnings growing to KES 3.7 billion, up from KES 3.5 billion.
The most affected export was fresh vegetables, whose exported quantity increased to 17,222 tonnes from 14,616 tonnes but whose earnings fell to KES 1.9 billion, down from KES 2.1 billion.
The drop was largely driven by a sharp fall in the value of the Sterling Pound and the Euro against the Kenyan shilling hurting the earnings of exporters.
The drop in earnings from horticulture exports is a blow to the government, which relies on export earnings for foreign exchange at a time Kenya’s trade deficit is rapidly growing, creating higher demand for foreign currency.
The government is, however, eyeing more markets, such as Far East Asia and the Arabian Gulf, to cut reliance on the European market.