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Uganda sugar imports most expensive among Comesa markets

sugar
Workers load bags of sugar on a truck at the port of Mombasa. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Sugar from Uganda was the most expensive in May imports, signalling high prices for consumers in the coming days.

Cheap imports normally play a major role in keeping the cost of sugar low in the country.

Data from the Sugar Directorate indicates a tonne of sugar imported from Uganda cost Sh64,420 compared with countries like Zimbabwe where the same quantity fetched Sh59,279, Egypt (Sh61,842) and Mauritius (Sh59,342).

"Mill white/brown sugar from Swaziland was the cheapest with an average price of Sh54,209 per tonne. Sugar from East Africa Community, precisely from Uganda was landing at an average price of Sh64,420 per tonne," said the directorate.

Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF) of the landed commodity in Mombasa for the imported table sugar averaged Sh60,117 per tonne in the review period.

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The cost of Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) free trade area has been on a steep rise since March when a tonne landed in Mombasa at Sh55,000, Sh59,000 in April and Sh60,000 in May.

Most Kenyan traders opted to import sugar from as far as Egypt and not Uganda because of the extra cost.

Out of a total 207,000 tonnes imported between January and May, shipments from Uganda only amounted to 25,000 tonnes.

Kenya relies more on imported sugar to check the cost of the commodity given quantities produced in the country are normally expensive because of the high cost of production.

Total sugar exports in May were 172.96 tonnes against 4.79 tonnes in the same period last year.

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