Rwanda’s total exports in 2014 increased by 5% despite experiencing a trade imbalance due to more imports.
Trade Minister Francois Kanimba explained to KTPress that Rwanda’s Exports are gradually picking up due to the vibrant mining sector.
“Traditional exports take a significant share of about 49% of the overall exports, this is why their performance has a big impact,” Kanimba explains.
He says that the current slump in global minerals prices affected Quantity of minerals Rwanda exported last year.
“Overall mineral prices are still low. Mineral prices declined by 23%. The minerals that influenced 2014 exports include Casseterite and Coltan,” Kanimba said adding that with the new developments in minerals, exports could pick up.
Kanimba also says Non-Traditional exports are of high hope to improve export revenues, depending on their trends in 2014.
Such include horticulture, pyrethrum and hides and skins.
According to the minister, other factors that influenced exports and trade in 2014 include DRC putting non-tarrif barriers on exports from Rwanda.
Despite registering an increase in exports, Rwanda’s economy imported more in 2014.
According to the Ministry of trade and Industry report, between January and November 2014, imports rose to 8.6% leaving a big trade imbalance.
The drop in exports is blamed on the overall performance of Rwanda’s traditional exports. Tea, coffee and coltan registered an increase in volume but their prices at the international market declined.
For example, coffee registered a value of 50,127,056 and 18,197,273 volume in 2013 causing an 11.9% change in export value in 2013, compared to its 56,101,963 value and 15,096,699 volume in 2014 which caused a -17.0% deficit in exports.
Tea registered 50,994,133 value and 19,344,878 volume in 2013 between January and November compared to 47,536,851 value and 20,791,788 volume causing a 7.5% increase in 2014.