List of Major Imports and Exports of Kenya

Anne Katana

Do you want to know the major imports and exports of Kenya? This article will provide detailed information on Kenya’s major imports and exports.

I have researched for you and presented it in a simple and easy-to-read format. So, read on to know the major imports and exports of Kenya.

Major Imports and Exports of Kenya

I have broken down this article into two parts:

1. Major Imports of Kenya

This section will look at the major imports of Kenya. I will cover the different products imported into Kenya and the approximate value of each.

This article will also include the percentage of imports for each category of products. I have also mentioned the countries that are the leading suppliers of each product.

2. Major Exports of Kenya

This part will look at the major exports from Kenya. The list includes details about what we export, the value, and the percentage share of exports. I have compiled a list of where all these goods are shipped to countries worldwide.

So, without further ado, let’s get started.

List of Major Imports of Kenya

The following is a list of the most imported products in Kenya:

1. Machinery and Transportation Equipment

The first major import of Kenya on our list is Machinery and Transportation Equipment.

According to the Central Bank of Kenya, approximately KES 37,646.240 is spent by Kenya on importing machinery and transportation equipment from other countries.

The countries that supply Kenya with this product include China, Japan, the United Kingdom, India, and the United States.

2. Petroleum Products

Kenya is a net importer of petroleum products, and foreign-owned companies dominate its petroleum sector.

As of August 2021, the value of fuel and lubricants imported into Kenya amounted to 32.7 billion.

The primary supplier of Petroleum products to Kenya is Saudi Arabia. Other countries that sell petroleum products include the United Arab Emirates and other Middle Eastern countries.

3. Motor Vehicles

Another significant import of Kenya is motor vehicles.

The country spends approximately $1.12B on importing motor vehicles.

Kenya imports motor vehicles, including passenger cars, Commercial Vehicles, and Tractors. The top supplier of Motor Vehicles to Kenya is Japan, followed by USA and Germany.

The second-hand market in Kenya is enormous because of the high importation rates. The demand for used cars has led to the rise of companies that offer motor vehicle financing using their capital.

4. Iron and Steel

Iron and Steel are other major imports of Kenya.

Kenya spends approximately $931.64M million on importing iron and Steel.

The leading suppliers to Kenya are China, followed by the Netherlands, Sweden, Iran, Japan, India, Germany, and South Africa.

5. Resins and Plastics

The Kenyan market imports Resins and Plastics products such as

Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) resins, Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) resins and Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA) resins, among others.

The leading suppliers to Kenya are China, Saudi Arabia, India, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States.

6. Packaged Medicaments

Kenya also imports Packaged Medicaments.

India, the USA, and the UK are leading suppliers to the Kenyan market. I should mention that there is stiff competition in the Kenyan pharmaceutical market between Cipla Limited, Hetero Drugs Limited, Ranbaxy Laboratories, and others.

7. Wheat

Despite growing wheat locally in Kenya, the country imports wheat, too. According to the Kenya Ministry of Agriculture, Kenyans consume 900,000 tons yearly, and local production is only 350,000 tons annually.

Kenya imports around 8.1 million bags of wheat, which is growing yearly.

The countries that supply Kenya with this product include Ukraine, India, Pakistan, Russia, and the USA.

Click to learn more about the Import Business in Kenya.

Kenya Main Import Partners

The following are the major countries that supply Kenya with the products above.

Machinery and Transportation Equipment: – China, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Pakistan, Switzerland, USA.

Petroleum Products: – Saudi Arabia (the leading supplier), United Arab Emirates, and other Middle Eastern countries.

Motor Vehicles:–Japan, USA, and Germany.

Iron and Steel: – China, Germany, Iran, Japan, UK, USA, and South Africa.

Resin and Plastics:–China, South Korea, Japan, Sri Lanka, UK, and the USA.

Major Exports of Kenya

The following is a list of major exports in Kenya.

1. Tea

Tea is a major export of Kenya and a major foreign exchange for Kenya.

In 2018, Kenya was the world’s largest export of black tea, with a total export value of USD 1,355,994,000. Recently, we have exported over 52 thousand metric tons to over 50 countries.

Kenya’s leading export partner is Pakistan (over 20,000 metric tons). Other countries include Egypt, the UK, Russia, Yemen, the United Arab Emirates, Kazakhstan, Sudan, Nigeria, Jordan, India, and China.

2. Cut Flowers

Another major export of Kenya is flowers. The horticulture industry in Kenya contributes to around 20% of the country’s total GDP.

Kenya exports approximately 150 billion Kenyan shillings’ worth of cut flowers annually.

The biggest importer from Kenya from this industry is in Europe. The continent accounts for almost 70% of the market share in terms of value. The US, India, and China share the rest of the imports.

3. Coffee

Coffee is also another major export of Kenya.

Kenya exports approximately 1.76 billion Kenyan shillings’ worth of processed coffee annually.

Several countries import Kenyan coffee, including Germany, Belgium, South Korea, Sweden, Australia, Norway, Finland, the UK, Romania, and the USA.

4. Titanium Ore

Mined in Kwale, Kenya, we export Titanium Ore as slabs.

According to Base Titanium, the Kwale plant generated US$115.7m in the 2020 financial year, accounting for 65% of Kenya’s total mineral output value.

We estimate that Kwale Operations annually adds more than US$100m to Kenya’s GDP.

According to a World Bank report, in 2018, Kenya exported Titanium oxides to Uganda ($116.81K, 37,225 Kg), Rwanda ($14.61K, 4,150 Kg), Burundi ($13.13K, 3,350 Kg).

5. Textiles

Kenya has been exporting textiles to other countries for decades. We ship Kenyan textile products to the United States, Uganda, Tanzania, China, and Congo.

6. Tobacco

Another major Kenyan export is Tobacco.

According to the United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade, Kenya’s exports of Tobacco and manufactured tobacco substitutes were US$154.69 Million in 2020.

In this industry, the principal export market for Kenya is Somalia, which accounts for over 40% of the market share in value. The list of other countries that import Kenyan Tobacco includes Congo, Egypt, Mauritius, Uganda, Rwanda, Malawi, South Sudan, and Tanzania.

7. Iron and Steel Products

Kenya exports around US$126.34 million worth of iron and steel products annually.

The major import partners for this industry are the United Arab Emirates, Uganda, South Sudan, Zambia, and Thailand.

8. Cement

Cement is also a major export of Kenya.

Kenya exports around $25 m worth of cement per year.

The biggest importers from this industry are Uganda, with a share of 62% (16.1 million US$), Rwanda, South Sudan, and Dem. Rep. Congo, Tanzania, Burundi, Sudan, and the United Arab Emirates


What is Kenya’s main export?

The main export of Kenya is tea. It accounts for around 23% of the country’s total exports.

What does Kenya export to the USA?

Kenya exports several products to the USA, including cut flowers, coffee, Titanium Ore, and textiles.

What are the major imports of Kenya?

The major imports of Kenya include iron and Steel, plastics, and textiles.

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Anne is a student of history. She enjoys sharing her passion and experiences with people through blogging. She started to educate and inspire people globally.
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