Maize imports fall as traders wait for duty-free window
SEE ALSO :What you need to know about 2019 Census“In the first quarter of 2019, the value of imports declined by 3.9 per cent to Sh421.2 billion from Sh438.5 billion in the first quarter of 2018. This was mainly on account of declines in the value of maize and iron and steel imports by 82.4 per cent and 15.8 per cent to Sh1.1 billion and Sh22.4 billion respectively,” said KNBS. Importers are waiting for the Government to open the duty-free window for maize imports from this month to plug the shortage in the supply of the grain, with prices hitting a five-year high in recent months. Between April and May, wholesale maize prices rose by as much as 23 per cent amid expectations of a fall in supply. “In Kenya, prices are expected to remain elevated and will trend near the five-year average in the production markets of North-Rift. In other markets, prices are expected to be higher than last year’s levels,” said East Africa Grain Council in a report. The National Drought Management Authority has warned that the number of people facing a food crisis in the country could reach two million this month due to the effects of a prolonged drought that affected food production and caused prices to soar.
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