Retail sugar prices have eased following an increase in imports to cover for the local deficit.
The price of the commodity, which had shot up by 30 percent last month, has now gone down by Sh20 to retail at Sh210 for a two-kilo packet.
The decline comes as a relief to thousands of households who are grappling with an increase in the cost of the basic commodities due to the Covid-19 epidemic that has interrupted supplies.
The prices of the sweetener in different outlets in Nairobi now ranges between Sh200 (non- branded) and Sh210 for a branded type. However, there is a likelihood of the cost going up in coming days because of the Coronavirus has impacted negatively on logistics. The Sugar Directorate indicated that imports in 2019 rose by 61 percent as the country shipped in more commodity to cover for the shortfall.
“Sugar imports between January and December last year totalled 458,631 tonnes against 284,169 tonnes that was seen last year, attributed to a significant increase in table sugar imports this year to bridge the rising domestic demand against the declining local production,” said the Directorate.
The decline in local production was attributed to a shortage of sugar cane for milling. Cane availability dropped from 5.5 million tonnes to 5.3 million, according to the regulator.
This has resulted in a 10 percent decline in production, creating a deficit that would be filled through imports.