Millers shun Mexican maize after arrival in price dispute

Millers say at Sh3,600 a bag, the flour will be beyond reach. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Millers have avoided the Mexican maize that docked at the Port of Mombasa even after the legal hurdle surrounding the imports was cleared.

They want the 14 percent duty on grain waived to make it affordable.

Through their lobby — the United Grain Millers Association— they said the grain had landed in Mombasa at Sh3,300 for a 90-kilo bag, the same retail price in Nairobi.

Without the 14 percent duty, a bag would drop to Sh2,800, the millers said. The lobby’s chairperson Ken Nyagah said transport charges will push it to Sh3,600, “which is way higher than the Nairobi wholesale price.” “At the moment we are struggling with stocks of flour on maize that we bought at Sh3,300 for a 90-kilo bag. Why would we bring even expensive maize to Nairobi; who will buy that flour?” he asked.

They contracted a trader to import on their behalf but “agreed that in the event we fail to buy based on cost, the trader would be free to sell it elsewhere.”