Commodities

Munya orders sugar stocks audit amid dumping claims

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Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Kenya is assessing the available stocks of sugar to prevent flooding of the local market with imports.
  • The audit is meant to address concerns by producers that importers are dumping sugar in local market, which has tanked their earnings.
  • Ahead of the agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya, however downplayed the dumping claims, saying so far there was no evidence.

Kenya is assessing the available stocks of sugar to prevent flooding of the local market with imports.

The audit is meant to address concerns by producers that importers are dumping sugar in local market, which has tanked their earnings.

Ahead of the agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya, however downplayed the dumping claims, saying so far there was no evidence.

Mr Munya said the stakeholders had noted that most of the sugar was coming in from Uganda, which for many years they have opposed.

“People are making noise because this sugar is coming from Uganda. If it were coming through the Port of Mombasa from other regional countries you would not hear these complaints,” said Mr Munya.

Kenya has been at loggerheads with Uganda over sugar imports with local producers arguing that the commodity coming from the landlocked neighbour originates from third party countries.

The wholesale price of sugar has dropped from Sh5,000 last year to Sh4,800 for a 50 kilogramme bag. This has seen the consumer cost also decline to an average Sh225 for a two- kilogramme packet from Sh235 in 2020.

Kenya entered into a deal with Uganda to allow Kampala export surplus sugar into the country three years ago, but Nairobi delayed the decision until late last year when the neighbouring state was allowed to ship in 20,000 tonnes of the 90,000 tonnes surplus that it had requested.

Mr Munya said the Sugar Directorate issued permits to traders who imported part of the 20,000 tonnes to Kenya.