Rwanda’s export receipts rose by 25.13 per cent in the fist half of this year, driven mainly by the rise in coffee exports, according to the National Bank of Rwanda (BNR).
Total shipments increased to US$195.23 million in the first half of this year compared to US$156.02 million recorded the same period last year.
Central bank statistics show that coffee exports jumped by 51.8 per cent to 3,436 tonnes in the first six months of this year from 2264 tonnes in the same period last year.
However, tea exports slipped by 7.7 per cent and 10.7 per cent in value and volume, respectively, following a decline in production due to adverse weather conditions.
“The increase in volume has offset a decline of 2.4 per cent in international prices from an average of US$3.62 per kilogramme in the first half of last year to an average of US$3.53 per kilogram in the first half of this year,” Central bank Governor Claver Gatete said while presenting the monetary policy and financial stability statement on Tuesday.
Coffee, tea and minerals dominate Rwanda’s exports. They contributed 57 per cent of the country’s total exports in value for the first six months this year, which calls for export diversification if the country is to bridge the huge trade deficit.
Mineral exports also contracted by 4.5 per cent, from US$67.7 million to US$64.6 million in the period under review.
“The poor performance in the sector was mainly due to a fall in tin’s international prices which fell by 25.9 per cent while the prices of coltan and wolfram increased by 16.9 per cent and 27 per cent in that order,” Gatete explained.
By Saul Butera, The New Times