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Kenya Trade Gap Widened 29 Percent in November on Import Growth

The trade deficit in Kenya, East Africa’s largest economy, widened in November as import growth outpaced exports, the country’s statistics agency said.

The gap increased 29 percent from a year earlier to 81.8 billion shillings ($968 million), the Nairobi-based Kenya National Bureau of Statistics said on its website today. Exports rose 13 percent to 44.5 billion shillings, compared with a 23 percent expansion in imports to 126.3 billion shillings. Import costs rose for food, fuel and industrial products, it said.

The volume of tea exports from Kenya, the world’s biggest producer of the black variety of the leaves, fell 5.1 percent in November to 33,352.5 metric tons, while earnings rose 15 percent to 9.3 billion shillings, the statistics bureau said. Horticulture exports climbed 9 percent to 17,274 tons, while coffee sales retreated 39 percent to 1,989.9 tons.

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