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Sisal export income rises to Sh1.2bn on improved demand

Friday April 23 2021

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A sisal plantation in Migori. FILE PHOTO | NMG

geraldandae By GERALD ANDAE
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Summary

  • Sisal export earnings jumped six percent to Sh1.2 billion in the first quarter of this year, compared to a similar period the previous year, on improved orders as the global economy recovered from Covid-19.
  • Data by the Fibre Crops Directorate shows Kenya exported 7,687.6 tonnes of sisal during the period, the highest export volumes compared to previous periods, according to the regulator.

Sisal export earnings jumped six percent to Sh1.2 billion in the first quarter of this year, compared to a similar period the previous year, on improved orders as the global economy recovered from Covid-19.

Data by the Fibre Crops Directorate shows Kenya exported 7,687.6 tonnes of sisal during the period, the highest export volumes compared to previous periods, according to the regulator.

In January, 2,745 metric tonnes of sisal were exported, 2,194 in February while March recorded 2,747 metric tonnes.

“In comparison to the previous year, prices have increased by an average of six per cent.

“This significant price increase could be attributed to the fact that in the previous period, jitters caused in the market due to the Covid-19 pandemic have since normalised in most destinations,” said the directorate.

Kenya witnessed a decline in exports from last year in March due to the effects of lockdowns imposed in importing countries mostly China and the West African States.

Nearly all the sisal produced locally is exported with West Africa being the largest market.

In the previous quarter, China was the leading export destination accounting for 21 per cent of the total export.

China, which was the epicentre of the pandemic, opened up its economy earlier than other countries last year.

During the period under review, sisal fibre was exported to 23 destinations with Nigeria taking a lead with 2,503.50 tonnes, representing a 33 per cent share.

Other top destinations were Ghana (nine per cent), China (9 per cent), Spain (nine per cent) and Morocco (eight per cent).

Sisal farming is mainly done on large scale in the Coastal region with a total of five estates: Vipingo (Kilifi), Voi, Teita (Taita Taveta) and processor International Ltd in Kwale.

According to the directorate, smallholder farmers have increased acreage under sisal due to the improved export prices.

It said emerging markets in Europe and the Middle East mean demand for the fibre will continue to climb, giving the smallholder farmers reason to scale up acreage.

2021-04-22 21:00:00


www.businessdailyafrica.com


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