Kenya’s trade deficit reached 1.37 trillion shillings ($11.13 billion) for the first 10 months of 2022, up by 23.09% from a year ago, The Kenyan Wall Street newspaper reported, citing data from Kenya National Bureau of Statistics. 

Essential commodities, such as petroleum products, wheat, edible oil and steel, saw prices surge year-on-year on the back of COVID-induced disruptions in global supply chains and the Russia-Ukraine war. 

Expenditure on imports exceeded 2 trillion shillings, primarily driven by the cost of fuel, industrial supplies and foodstuffs. 

The import bill rose 21.89% year-on-year to almost 2.10 trillion shillings during the same period, with export earnings at 728.2 billion shillings. 

Food import expenditures grew 15.48% to 201.99 billion shillings, as wheat and edible oil prices hit record highs. 

The order book for non-food industrial supplies climbed 15.28% to 783.07 billion shillings, the report said. 

(Editing by Cleofe Maceda;