Kenyan sugar imports drop as domestic production rebounds

Sugar imports into the country reached a seven-month low in February, reflecting an upturn in domestic output as factories resumed operations following months of closure due to cane shortages.

Figures from the Sugar Directorate show that traders brought in 42,381 tonnes of sugar last month, marking the lowest quantity since July 2023, when imports stood at 27,179 tonnes.

Kenya’s reliance on sugar imports has decreased over the past three months, following the government’s decision to lift the five-month ban, which was implemented to allow cane to mature. The ban was lifted in December, leading to the revival of local factories.

During the ban period, millers unsuccessfully advocated for sugar imports, citing established supply networks compared to traders.

Despite duty-free sugar imports, retail prices remain high after four months.

The influx of imports has contributed to a reduction in sugar prices to below Sh200. Local sugar mills processed 63,075 tonnes of sugar last month, marking the highest output since January 2023.


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