Trade Data Analysis

South Africa’s trade with Kenya

South Africa’s trade with Kenya

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This Trade Update provides a snapshot of South Africa’s trading relationship with Kenya. The aim is to give an idea of South Africa’s trade relations with Kenya, and the major products or sectors that South Africa is trading in.

All data is sourced from the United Nations (UN) International trade Centre (ITC) TradeMap database. The data analysed in this report is over a 10-year review period from 2007-2016.

Bilateral Trade Agreements

Apart from the fact that South Africa and Kenya are both members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO); African Union (AU) which is in the process of negotiating a continental free trade area (CFTA) as well as members of the tripartite free trade agreement (TFTA) comprising of members of the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA), the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), there has been no bilateral trade agreement between the two countries.

Only recently in 2016, did the two countries sign a memorandum of understanding on trade and investment among others, which is aimed at enhancing exposure of trade and investment opportunities between the two countries.

South Africa and the other Southern African Customs Union (SACU) member states are currently negotiating with Kenya and the other member states of the EAC to conclude a bilateral tariff liberalisation dispensation as part of the TFTA.

Trade Performance

Trade between South Africa and Kenya has been minimal when considering South Africa’s global trade. From a global perspective, Kenya is ranked 27th amongst South Africa’s export destinations accounting for just about 1% of South Africa’s total exports. In terms of imports, Kenya, does not feature even in the top 30 import suppliers to the South African market. However, when considering the African market, the Kenya is ranked 10th export destination for South Africa’s goods and is ranked 22nd most important import source from Africa.

Since 2007, South Africa has always maintained a trade surplus with Kenya, although in recent years, the gap has been reducing. In 2016, South Africa’s exports to Kenya were almost US$ 560 million while imports were a mere US$ 19.8 million.


South Africa’s trade with Kenya | Bilateral trade update No. 4, October 2017 - Author(s): Taku Fundira
South Africa’s trade with Kenya | Trade data spreadsheet, October 2017 - Author(s): Taku Fundira

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