Households that highly depend on maize flour for food are in for a tough time ahead as the prices have now jumped to a 13-month high according to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics which states that the price of a 2kg packet of maize flour rose to 115 shillings last month, an increase of two shillings from a month earlier and five shillings from April as a result of the escalating maize costs.
The price of maize flour rose as a result of the shortage of maize in the country that saw a sack of 90 kilogram maize going for 2800 shillings up from 2200 shillings in the month of February but millers are saying that the situation will soon change and the price of flour will come down with the onset of the harvesting season in the most parts of the country.
Over the years, the prices of maize in the country have often been the major driving force behind inflation because maize is the stable food for the majority of Kenyans and most poor households in the country depend on maize for food and, therefore, their budgets are largely influenced by the prices of both the flour and the maize.
The millers have however assured the majority of their consumers that the prices of the flour are expected to drop in the near future as a result of the increased supply of maize with the onset of the harvesting season and they have said that consumers will soon enjoy the low costs of flour as early as next month as there is a large expectation of the increase in the supply of maize this year, something that will also influence the prices of the maize.
The increase in the maize flour also has been attributed to the dwindling maize reserves are to and the millers argue that the high cost of grain has pushed up the ex-factory price of flour from between Sh84 and Sh87 in February to Sh95 and Sh100, representing a 13 per cent increase.