Processed bulk sugar imports helped Kabras-based West Kenya Sugar Company maintain its market share lead, controlling 29 percent of the total sales.
Data from the Sugar Directorate indicates West Kenya, makers of the Kabras brand, sold 71,176 tonnes of sugar in the review period out of a total 243,083 tonnes.
The miller has maintained its lead for over two years now, attributing its success to timely payments to farmers and installation of new machines.
“The production in West Kenya and Sukari Industries was boosted by inclusion of processed bulk sugar imports,” said the directorate.
“All the government-owned mills, with exception of Chemelil reported decreased sugar production due to limited cane supply and inefficiencies at the factories,” the regulator said.
West Kenya’s sugar sales in the review period was 20,000 tonnes more than in the corresponding time last year.
The miller widened the gap further from Butali Sugar, which was second after selling 38,834 tonnes, followed by Kibos (35,567 tonnes), Sukari (32,618 tonnes) and Transmara Sugar Company (30,934 tonnes).
Nzoia Sugar emerged the best among the government millers recording sales of 6,725 tonnes followed by Chemelil at 4,458 tonnes and Muhoroni at 4,372 tonnes.
The sugar sector in the country has been hit by shortage of cane for milling, which has seen the levels of imports enhanced to cover for the deficit.
The imports of table sugar to Kenya in the review period grew by 56 percent compared with the corresponding period last year, following scarcity of the commodity in the country that compelled the regulator to step up shipments to cover for the deficit.
According to the Sugar Directorate, imports of the commodity between January and April stood at 157,593 tonnes compared with 100,815.
The government last week banned the importation of both sugar and sugarcane in order to curb an influx of cheap sugar in the market.
A two-kilo packet of branded sugar has now dropped from a high Sh230 in February to Sh210 for the same quantity as the market responds to an increase of cheap sugar in the market.