Serrari Group

Kenya experienced a 4.3% decline in mineral production value, falling from Ksh 35.2 billion in 2022 to Ksh 33.7 billion in 2023, according to the latest data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS).

This decrease was primarily driven by a significant drop in the value of titanium ores, which fell by over Ksh 4 billion. The 2024 Economic Survey by KNBS reports that the value of ilmenite, rutile, and zircon decreased by 14.5%, from Ksh 28.3 billion in 2022 to Ksh 24.2 billion in 2023.

Production volumes also declined substantially. Total production of titanium ore minerals dropped by 36.5% to 280,698 tonnes from 441,940 tonnes. This was mainly due to a 59% decrease in rutile production, which fell from 163,242 tonnes to 67,604 tonnes, and a 77% decline in zircon production, which dropped from 90,698 tonnes in 2022 to 21,094 tonnes in 2023. Conversely, ilmenite production saw a slight increase of 2%, rising from 188,000 tonnes to 192,000 tonnes.

Soda ash production also saw a downturn, declining by 25.2% from 321,779 tonnes in 2022 to 240,784 tonnes in 2023. Consequently, the value of soda ash decreased by 15%, from Ksh 2 billion to Ksh 1.7 billion.

Gold production was affected as well, with volumes decreasing from 563,600 tonnes to 410,000 tonnes and earnings falling from Ksh 3.4 billion to Ksh 3.2 billion.

Despite these declines, there were some positive trends. The average export price per tonne of soda ash increased from Ksh 41,731 in 2022 to Ksh 47,550 in 2023. Similarly, the average export price per tonne of salt rose by 4.4% to Ksh 14,329. Titanium ore minerals also saw a slight increase in average export price, from Ksh 69,185 to Ksh 69,451 per tonne.

These changes highlight the challenges and opportunities within Kenya’s mineral sector. The sector’s future will depend on strategic investments and policy adjustments to address production issues and stabilize earnings.

By: Montel Kamau

Serrari Financial Analyst

4th June, 2024

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