Kenyan sugar imports rise by 21% in the first five months with Ugandan sugar fetching highest price

KENYA – According to the Sugar Directorate of Kenya, the country’s sugar imports between January and May stood at 207,814 tonnes against 172,213 tonnes last year rising by 21%.

The enhanced imports came amid a 15% increase in local production, with growth in local yields attributed to a slight improvement in sugar cane supply to private millers.

All the private mills registered improved productivity in the review period, reports Business Daily.

May registered a decline of 13 percent in imports due to logistics hitch brought about by Covid-19. In April there was a 14 percent decline.

In the Comesa markets, sugar from Uganda was most expensive in May.

Data from the Sugar Directorate indicates a tonne of sugar imported from Uganda cost Sh64,420 (US$605) compared with countries like Zimbabwe where the same quantity fetched Sh59,279 (US$556), Egypt Sh61,842 (US$580) and Mauritius Sh59,342 (US$557).

“Mill white/brown sugar from Swaziland was the cheapest with an average price of Sh54,209 (US$509) per tonne. Sugar from East Africa Community, precisely from Uganda was landing at an average price of Sh64,420 (US$605) per tonne,” said the directorate.

Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF) of the landed commodity in Mombasa for the imported table sugar averaged Sh60,117 (US$564) per tonne in the review period.

The cost of Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) free trade area has been on a steep rise since March when a tonne landed in Mombasa at Sh55,000 (US$516), Sh59,000 (US$554) in April and Sh60,000 (US$563) in May.

Most Kenyan traders opted to import sugar from as far as Egypt and not Uganda because of the extra cost.

Out of a total 207,000 tonnes imported between January and May, shipments from Uganda only amounted to 25,000 tonnes.

Kenya relies more on imported sugar to check the cost of the commodity given quantities produced in the country are normally expensive because of the high cost of production.

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