Commodities

Flour prices up as maize supply dips on quality concern

NAIVAS-2004FC

A shopper at a Naivas Supermarket branch. FILE PHOTO | NMG

geraldandae

Summary

  • Retail maize flour prices have started rising following a decline in the supply of quality maize in the market, with a two-kilogramme packet now selling above Sh100 from an average of Sh90 in May.
  • Millers say the price of maize has hit Sh2,800 for a 90-kilogramme bag as supplies in the market fizzle out following a decline in the produce coming in from Tanzania where most produce is failing to pass the aflatoxin test.

Retail maize flour prices have started rising following a decline in the supply of quality maize in the market, with a two-kilogramme packet now selling above Sh100 from an average of Sh90 in May.

Millers say the price of maize has hit Sh2,800 for a 90-kilogramme bag as supplies in the market fizzle out following a decline in the produce coming in from Tanzania where most produce is failing to pass the aflatoxin test.

A two-kilo packet of Jogoo is now retailing at Sh109, Soko is selling at Sh104, Ajab at Sh114 while Pembe is trading at Sh106.

“The price of maize has been taking an upward trend with supplies dwindling. The price is now between Sh2,700 and Sh2,800,” said Rajan Shah, Capwell Industries chief executive.

Millers also say there has been a rise in demand as compared with the previous months, coming as a reprieve to processors who had been grappling with a slow-moving product since the onset of Covid-19 last year.

“We have seen an improved demand in recent days though the situation isn’t to the levels where we were before the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Ken Nyaga, United Grain Millers Association chairperson.

The higher price of flour, which is a staple in almost every home in the country, is likely to pile on further pressure on the cost of living, which has already been going up in recent months due to higher food costs.

Kenya’s inflation rose to a 16-month high of 6.32 percent in June largely on the back of the increased cost of basic foodstuffs and fuel.

Food inflation stood at 8.5 percent last month, the highest since May 2020, while fuel inflation was at 13.5 percent.

Fuel prices also affect the price of food due to the cost of transport being factored into the consumer price of all goods.

“The increase in Food Index was mainly attributed to increases in prices of some food items, which outweighed the decrease in prices of other foodstuffs,” said the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics.