Kenya Likely To Lift India Wheat Ban As Deficit Hits

By Jane Muia / Published May 13, 2022 | 1:52 pm




KEY POINTS

Kenya banned wheat imports from India after the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services (KEPHIS) raised concern over a fungal disease that the country is worried would affect local crops if allowed.


Wheat prices

KEY TAKEAWAYS


Broadways has also indicated that it will increase the price of its 400g bread in the coming days to 60 shillings from 55 shillings.

The 600g loaf will go up from 83 shillings to 90 shillings while the 800g, currently retailing at 110 shillings, will go up to 120 shillings.


Kenya is set to conduct a risk analysis on the Indian wheat, a move that is aiming at ending a long-standing wheat import ban from the Asian nation amid low global supply.

The move by the government is expected to cushion consumers from the soaring prices of wheat products that are majorly attributed to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine invasion that has led to the low global supply of the commodity, given that the two countries are the world’s major wheat producers.

“Kephis is currently working on a team that will be going to India to study the situation and consider allowing Indian wheat,” Cereal Millers Association (CMA) CEO Paloma Fernandes said, in an interview with the Star.

Kenya banned wheat imports from India after the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services (KEPHIS) raised concern over a fungal disease that the country is worried would affect local crops if allowed.

Currently, the country cannot import wheat from Russia and Ukraine following the ongoing war that led to the closure of ports, inhibiting the shipping of the commodity. The global shortage has made other wheat-producing countries spike commodity prices.

“Purchasing power for wheat flour has reduced due to the high prices occasioned by the current global scenario. Wheat milling capacity has reduced in tandem with the reduced purchasing power,” Fernandes said.

Wheat prices have continued to increase due to the lack of supply in the last couple of months since the Russia-Ukraine war started. The prices surged to over $580 (67,000 shillings) per ton of the wheat being offered in the world market, up from an average of $280 (32,000 shillings) per tonne.

Indian wheat is significantly cheaper than the rest of the world selling at a discount of about $50-80 (5,805-9,288 shillings) cheaper than other countries’ wheat which is at almost over $500 per tonne.

The high wheat prices have been passed to consumers, with the pressure felt on most wheat products including bread-making most Kenyans ditch the commonly consumed grain in many households. Currently, a 400g Super Loaf bread is selling at 60 shillings up from 55 shillings in April.

Broadways has also indicated that it will increase the price of its 400g bread in the coming days to 60 shillings from 55 shillings. The 600g loaf will go up from 83 shillings to 90 shillings while the 800g, currently retailing at 110 shillings, will go up to 120 shillings.






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