Kenya slashes imports of sugar by half in June 2022 – Business Daily
Sugar imports at the Mombasa port. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Kenya cut sugar imports by nearly half in June when compared with the previous month as sugarcane production jumped 11 per cent in the review period.
Data from the Sugar Directorate indicates the imports were slashed by 49 per cent to 17,231 in the review period, down from 33,650 a month earlier.
The regulator says sugarcane production jumped 11.3 per cent to 70,376 tonnes, the highest to have been recorded since January.
An increase in production has seen the prices of the commodity remain low in the market with a kilogramme going for Sh128 down from Sh129 in May on average. Retailers have since April maintained the price of two kilogramme packet at an average of Sh239.
“Total sugar production in June 2022 was 70,376 tonnes from the previous month where we recorded a total of 63,209 (tonnes),” said the directorate in the latest report.
The factory price for sugar last month eased to Sh5,199 when compared with Sh5,261 recorded in May, highlighting the impact of increased production locally and scaling up of imports in the previous months.
In April, the sugar imports stood at 21,665 tonnes and were enhanced to 33,650 tonnes in May. High imports were necessitated by a decline in the total amount of sugarcane that was crushed during the period, which was 673,197 tonnes when compared with 719,481 tonnes recorded a month earlier.
The decline in the volume of sugarcane crushed in May saw the quantities produced by factories decline by eight per cent to 63,209 tonnes.
Kenya is allowed to import up to 350,000 tonnes of sugar from Comesa bloc to bridge annual local deficit.
There have been complaints from Kenyan millers and farmers that the government allows importation of more sugar than is required, impacting negatively on the local prices.
A sugar task force said recently that the regulator should make public the names of importers alongside the quantities that they are allowed to ship in as one of the ways of addressing low earnings for farmers.