Coronavirus – How different sectors are hurting

From tourism to merchandising, stock market to imports and exports, Kenya is hurting from the impact of coronavirus, which has so far killed more than 4,000 people worldwide. Kenya stands to suffer major hits as the coronavirus pandemic persists. While no single case has been reported in Kenya, the country is already feeling the heat as countries affected are key to Kenya as sources of tourists and market for products such as flowers, fresh produce and tea. The countries have cut down on consumption as they battle the disease. China, which bears the biggest burden, is the single largest source of imports and Kenya is now running low on different goods that come from the Asian nation. While it has brought gloom globally, slowing down of economic activity has resulted in reduced demand for crude oil has resulted in lower oil prices, which might mean cheaper fuel for Kenyans in the coming weeks. Oil The price of crude oil dropped drastically on Monday following disagreements between the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia on whether to cut production. Reducing production was expected to cushion the oil-producing countries from the deep in prices following slow demand owing to the slow down in activity as the coronavirus takes toll. Russia, however, did not agree to the plan and instead said it would increase production, incensing Saudi Arabia which also increased production. The result was that prices tanked and Monday alone experienced the biggest daily drop since the 1991 Gulf War. The price of Brent crude oil yesterday traded at $34 (Sh3, 400), from about $60 (Sh6,100) per barrel on February 20 and $68 (Sh6,800) at some point in January. This is the lowest level of oil prices since February 2016. If the low prices are sustained, Kenyans might benefit in a big way. Different industries, including manufacturing and transport are heavily dependent on petroleum, of which Kenya is a net importer. NSE The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) continued to experience major selling due to coronavirus fright and a crash in global oil prices. Market capitalisation, the total value of all stocks listed on the NSE, declined by Sh118 billion in yesterday’s trading to Sh2.28 trillion from Sh2.162 trillion on Wednesday. Analysts said foreigners were dumping stocks in favour of bonds, gold, the dollar and the Yen as markets caught coronavirus fever. Ordinarily, investors would be buying in anticipation of […]

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