Kenya’s sugar prices drop in August after import surge

In August, sugar prices experienced a noteworthy decline for the first time in two months, primarily due to a substantial increase in imports, reported Nation.Africa.

This surge in imports helped offset the deficit resulting from a reduction in local sugar production.

A recent spot check conducted in supermarkets revealed that sugar prices have continued to decrease, with the average price per kilogram now ranging between Sh210 and Sh220.

According to data provided by the Sugar Directorate, the average retail sugar price in August stood at Sh224 per kilogram, down from Sh229 in July. Additionally, wholesale sugar prices also saw a decline, averaging Sh9,624 per 50-kilogram bag in August 2023. This marked a seven per cent decrease from the Sh10,369 per 50-kilogram bag observed in July.

The drop in prices can be attributed to a surge in imports during August, with shipments more than doubling, increasing by 111 percent from 27,179 tonnes in the previous month to 57,250 tonnes. This importation included 47,904 tonnes of table sugar and 9,346 tonnes of white refined sugar.

To meet the rising demand, Kenya extended duty-free importation of sugar on August 9, 2023, allowing traders to import larger volumes of the commodity. The local sugar industry has faced challenges, including a decrease in production and higher global prices, which have contributed to the rapid increase in sugar prices over the past year.


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