Kenya’s rice import value up Ksh.142.5bn in 5 years

Kenya imported 1.8 million metric tonnes at a tune of Ksh.116.95 billion since 2019

The volume of rice imported into Kenya has been on an upward trajectory for five years to 2022.

In 2018 alone, rice import volume stood at 59,933.88 metric tonnes when taxpayers coughed a whooping Ksh.25.5 billion, according to data from Metropol Harvest.

From 2019 to last year, the country imported 1.8 million metric tonnes at a tune of Ksh.116.95 billion.

The year 2022 saw an uptick in the import – 67,808.76 metric tonnes which cost taxpayers Ksh.34.4 billion.

<strong><em>Source Metropol Harvest<em><strong>

A report by Fitch Ratings, however, points to a significant surge in rice prices in Kenya occasioned by reduced production of the commodity by the world’s largest producers, China and Russia.

‘Heavy rains in China’s grain-producing region that will reduce yields is likely to put pressure on already high global rice prices’, reads in part a report by Fitch Ratings.

The regions affected by the floods produce 23% of the country’s production, making it a major contributor to the total annual country and thus global rice production.

In the year 2022/23, China produced 147 million metric tons of rice against consumption of 155 million metric tons, making it a net importer of the commodity.

Economic analyst Murugi Ndai says that China may “need to look to import more rice if the anticipated shortfall is anything to go by, thus driving the global rice prices even higher.”

Globally, rice is the second staple food with 16.5% consumption after maize which stands at 19.5%, while wheat comes third with 14%.

In Kenya however, rice is the third most consumed commodity after maize and wheat. Kenya unfortunately cannot meet its consumption demand of all its top three staple food with importation as the only option to bridge the deficit.

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Lawrence Baraza

Lawrence Baraza is a dynamic journalist currently overseeing content at Metropol TV Digital. With a keen focus on business news and analytics, Lawrence guides the platform in delivering insightful, data-driven content that empowers its audience to make informed decisions. Lawrence’s commitment to quality and his ability to anticipate market trends make him a key figure in the digital media landscape. His work continues to shape the way business news is consumed, making a significant impact in the field.

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