Traders defy duty-free sugar import quotas, raise prices

Merchandise

Traders defy duty-free sugar import quotas, raise prices


Sugar in a Nyeri supermarket on June 9, 2021. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NMG

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Summary

  • According to the Sugar Directorate, traders imported 263,988 during the period under review, exceeding 210,530, which is the limit set by the Treasury for sugar from the Common Markets of Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) .
  • Failure to meet the quota could be the force behind the currently expensive sugar in the market, as the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) was to charge 100 percent tariffs on imports above the limit, as reported by the Treasury .
  • The month of November saw a huge jump in imports, which stood at 61,458 from the previous months.

Traders exceeded the limit set by the Treasury for duty-free sugar imports and shipped 25.4% above the quota at the end of last November, subjecting consumers to an expensive sweetener.

According to the Sugar Directorate, traders imported 263,988 during the period under review, exceeding 210,530, which is the limit set by the Treasury for sugar from the Common Markets of Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) .

Failure to meet the quota could be the force behind the currently expensive sugar in the market, as the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) was to charge 100 percent tariffs on imports above the limit, as reported by the Treasury .

For example, management noted that the average price of sugar in November jumped to Sh 6,125 for a 50 kg bag from Sh 4,770 in October.

“Total sugar for the month was 61,458 tonnes. White refined sugar was 22,390 tonnes while mill white / brown was 39,068 tonnes, ”management said.

Normally, sugar from the Comesa region is not taxed. Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani in a gazette notice last year, however, said that volumes that exceed the limit would be taxed at 100%.

In March, the Treasury slashed the amount of sugar imported into Kenya duty-free from the Comesa countries by 30%, as the government tried to contain the influx of cheap sweeteners following an outcry. farmers.

Kenya had previously been allowed to ship 300,000 tonnes of sugar per year from Comesa member states to avoid dumping cheap goods into the country.

The month of November saw a huge jump in imports, which stood at 61,458 from the previous months.

Kenya has grappled with a shortage of sugar supplies in recent days, caused by a production disruption due to the outage of some of the millers in western Kenya.

The move saw the wholesale price of sugar climb 23% for a 50-kilogram bag in November, marking one of the biggest moves in recent months.

The commodity sold for Sh 6,200 versus Sh 5,050 previously in a move that saw the consumer price of sugar drop from Sh 230 in September to Sh 270 for a two kilo pack at this time.

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Rachel J. Bradford