Netherlands beat Uganda as the top destination of Kenya's exports in the first quarter of this year.
The European nation imported goods worth 119 million U.S. dollars between January and March from Kenya, dwarfing Uganda's 107 million dollars, new economic data showed Monday.
Uganda has been Kenya's major trading partner for years, with the country importing goods worth 600 million dollars in 2015.
Netherlands, on the other hand, imported goods worth 361 million dollars during the same period.
The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) data showed that exports to Netherlands from Kenya topped 48 million dollars in March. During the month, Uganda's exports stood at 46 million dollars.
In February, Kenya exported to Netherlands goods worth 35 million dollars while in January 36 million dollars. Uganda during the months imported from Kenya goods valued at 39 million dollars and 21 million dollars respectively.
About 69 percent of flowers produced in Kenya land in the Netherlands, where Dutch wholesalers buy the produce for re-export to the U.S. and other nations.
The European country is, therefore, the biggest purchaser of cut flowers from Kenya.
There has been a rise in cut flower exports to Netherlands, which has helped to propel the country to the top destination of East African nation goods.
Besides cut flowers, Kenya exports to Netherlands also include tobacco and horticultural products. On the other hand, Netherlands exports to Kenya include chemicals, machinery, engines and transport equipment
Kenya Flower Council CEO Jane Ngige attributed the rise in flower exports to working with small-scale growers to meet European Union trade rules after the market signed fresh agreement with Kenya last year.
According to the KNBS, Kenya's exports to Britain have also risen significantly, matching those to Uganda.
The nation imported from Kenya products worth 107 million dollars, at par with Uganda during the first three months of the year.
Besides flowers, Kenya's exports to Britain include fresh produce like vegetables and fruits.
The US is another top destination of Kenya's goods, coming in at the fourth place. The country imported goods worth 90 million dollars from Kenya between January and March, according to the KNBS data.