First ship with yellow maize docks at port


Yellow maize being offloaded at Mombasa port. FILE PHOTO | NMG

The first ship carrying the consignment of yellow maize docked at the Port of Mombasa on Saturday as millers start shipping in the produce, even as high landing cost puts a damper on expensive animal feed.

A manifest from the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) indicates that the Archagelos Michael ship docked at the port on July 23 with 40,000 tonnes of yellow maize.

The maize comes from Ukraine and has taken a longer route to Serbia and Romania following the blockade along the Black Sea.

The long route has seen the cost of a 90 kilogramme bag of the produce land in Kenya at Sh5,600.

The consignment has been imported by four large-scale millers who will share it among themselves for the processing of feeds.

This is the first time that yellow maize is getting to the country since the gazette notice was first published last year in November to allow millers and traders to ship in the produce at duty-free.

“We have received the first consignment of yellow maize that has been shipped in by millers and we expect more in the coming days,” said Martin Kinoti, secretary general Association of Kenya Animal Feed Manufacturers.

Another consignment of the yellow maize will be docking in the country on August 8 with a total of 40,000 tonnes of the produce.

The consignment comes just weeks after the government relaxed the rules and said it would allow millers to ship in the grain past the deadline as so long as it is ordered within the gazette period.

The Ministry of Agriculture announced it will allow shipments of processors whose consignment of yellow maize imports will arrive in the country past the initial set deadline of October after millers expressed fears that their shipment will be confiscated on the back a short window between now and November.

The delays in importing yellow maize have seen the price of feeds shoot up to historic levels, piling pressure on the cost of animal products.

The price of a 70 kilogramme bag of layers marsh has now jumped to Sh4,500 from Sh3,800 in April, chick mash is going for Sh4,940 from Sh4,200 while dairy meal is now selling at Sh2,850 from Sh2,500, pointing to tough times for consumers who will have to absorb extra cost when buying animal products such as eggs.

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