Commodities

Maize exports to S. Sudan rise on higher prices

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A truck loaded with imported maize from Tanzania in Mombasa in August 2019. PHOTO | LABAN WALLOGA

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Summary

  • High prices of maize in South Sudan have pushed up the demand of local produce by traders who are exporting it to the neighbouring country.
  • The price of maize at the farm gate has now hit a high of Sh3,000 from Sh2,200 two weeks ago as traders seek to incentivise growers to release their stock.
  • South Sudan normally relies on maize imports from Uganda, but Kampala is facing a shortage of grain this year forcing Juba to rely on imports from Kenya.

High prices of maize in South Sudan have pushed up the demand of local produce by traders who are exporting it to the neighbouring country.

The price of maize at the farm gate has now hit a high of Sh3,000 from Sh2,200 two weeks ago as traders seek to incentivise growers to release their stock.

South Sudan normally relies on maize imports from Uganda, but Kampala is facing a shortage of grain this year forcing Juba to rely on imports from Kenya.

“There has been a high demand for maize in countries that experienced poor harvests due to drought or cases of insecurity and now a good amount of maize is heading to Uganda and South Sudan,” said Samuel Yego, the CEC for Agriculture, Uasin Gishu County.

A bag of maize in South Sudan is selling at over Sh3,200, making it a lucrative market for Kenyan traders.

Players in the sector say farmers have been selling their maize in bulk to businessmen selling to neighboring countries due to better prices, raising fears that this might deplete the current stocks.

Two weeks ago, millers wrote to the Ministry of Agriculture warning of an impending price increase of maize flour following the unavailability of sufficient stocks in the market.

In a letter to the Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya, United Grain Millers Association warned that consumers were staring at a steep jump in the cost of flour if the current stalemate on supply is not addressed.