Kenya 2021 Current-Account Deficit Widened On Year

By George Mwangi

Special to Dow Jones Newswires

Kenya’s current-account deficit widened to 5.4% of gross domestic product in 2021 from 4.6% of GDP a year earlier, the country’s central bank said late Friday.

“The wider deficit was due to a higher import bill, particularly oil, which more than offset increased receipts from agricultural and services exports, and remittances,” the bank said in its weekly bulletin.

Kenya’s main agricultural exports include coffee, tea and cut flowers.

International oil prices increased during the week ending Jan. 27, it said. “Murban oil prices rose to $89.59 per barrel on Jan. 27, compared to $87.95 per barrel on Jan. 20,” the bank said.

Kenya relies heavily on imports of petroleum products to meet its energy demands. However, the East African country hopes to start oil production this year, with output of up to 100,000 barrels a day.

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