Rwanda’s exports rose by 26% in the first half of 2010 compared to the same period in 2009, boosted by increased cross boarder trade that has also improved the country’s trade balance with its neighboring countries.
Statistics by the Central Bank indicate that cross boarder transactions hit Rwf 40 billion between May 2009 and April 2010, dominated by DRC with a share of 63 percent.
“Findings of cross-border trade study is impressive especially goods to DRC that are dominated by crop products and live animals,” Francois Kanimba, the Governor of the Central Bank said recently.
The Central Bank says that cross-border trade is becoming quite significant in Rwanda’s external trade activities.
Rwanda’s exports in the first half of 2010 remained dominated by traditional export products such as coffee, tea and minerals which accounted for 64.2 percent of the country’s total export earnings.
Tea exports have continued to perform better, increasing by 35.6 percent and 19.3 percent in value and volume terms respectively, due to high international prices, the Central Bank said in its monetary policy statement.
Tea prices on the international market averaged $ 2.65 /Kg in the first half of 2010 compared to $ 2.33 in the same period last year, the Bank said.
However, coffee exports decreased by 7.3 percent in value and 20.5 percent in volume, as the coffee season started relatively later.
The mining sector underperformed as mineral exports slid by 2.4 and 20 percent in value and volume respectively due to declining trend of prices on international markets for most of the minerals.
Imports went up by 17.6 percent in volume while its value declined by 4.2 percent due to price effect, driven by the increase in volume of imported consumer goods which went up by 39.9 percent.