Kenya has enjoyed close international trade ties, mostly with the Western countries. Kenya is also a member of several trade blocs within this region like EAC and COMESA. Due to the political standoff recently, imports in Kenya as of August recorded a major drop from Ksh152 billion to Ksh141 billion but later rose up to Ksh147 billion in October. Imports in Kenya recorded an all-time high record just before we went to the August polls; a staggering Ksh 165 billion in July of 2017 and a record low of Ksh13.4 billion in January of 1999.
Kenya imports include machinery and transportation equipment, petroleum products, motor vehicles, iron, and steel and its main import partners are India, China, UAE, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, United States and Japan.
Import business in Kenya has its ups and downs but once you get established, then you are good to go. Listed below, are some of the best import businesses in Kenya that grooming importers should focus on.
1. Used Car Importation
This is one of the most lucrative import businesses if you are considering to own a car Bazaar.
Time and technology changes hence people will need to dispose of old cars and acquire new cars hence a need to import and sell cars. You can import cars from almost any Kenyan allied country and then sell at a slightly higher price after paying for duty and even the necessary registration process of the vehicle.
2. Beauty Products Importation
Ladies know how expensive it is to buy beauty products from salons and beauty products stores. You can import beauty products cheaply from overseas and then resell them at a considerable price but still make a profit.
Beauty products are always in demand regardless of the economic and political times; you all know many women out there can’t do without makeup… right?
3. Clothing Importation
Clothes are one of the three fundamental basic needs and this explains a lot why clothes importation business is a successful venture. We must all wear clothes regardless of the economy and this includes shoes, bags, underwear, perfumes, etc.
Clothing importation can be for both new and used clothes but with these tough economic times, used clothes sell much more because they are cheaper.
4. Smartphones Importation
Kenya is a developing nation and as a matter of fact, we don’t manufacture phones. Our phones are sourced from other countries like China. Phones in countries like China are cheap hence you can import them and sell them here in Kenya at a profit.
5. Used Electronics Importation
Electronics generally are hot sellers, used electronics are the best sellers because they are cheaper. Used electronics range smartphone, laptops, iron boxes, kettles, dispensers, TV screens, sound systems just to name a few. Many of these electronics can be imported at wholesale prices and later sold to individuals at retail prices.
6. Spare Part Importation
We all know that its very hard to return a car to its manufacturer whenever it develops a problem, especially here in Africa, Kenya to be specific. Car factories are far away in China, Japan, and U.S.A hence all that is required is for spare parts to be purchased to mend the affected part. Spare parts are a goldmine if you have a ready supplier abroad and another ready market over here in Kenya.
7. Crude Oil Importation
Oil is essential for the country to run its daily errands from car fuel to industrial oil. Crude oil importation is not a business for everyone. This is because it requires huge capital to start and run but absolutely profitable. You can give it a try if you are rich enough.
8. Household items Importation
Home accessories are very profitable, both the locally produced and even the imported. Anything from picture frames, candle holders, soap dispensers, dish holders, teapots, water containers, or even basins.
9. Seafood Importation
This sounds funny, but hey, there are many indigenous suppliers of seafood who cannot cater to the ballooning demands of these products each day since their demand keeps increasing.
Tons of seafood, such as fish, crustaceans, and molluscs are consumed on a daily basis hence the reason why an import of seafood comes in handy, at least once in a while but it is a profitable venture.