•Kenya relies on both Ukraine and Russia as one of the key exporters for grain as they account for 33 per cent of global wheat supplies.
•Cereal Millers Association (CMA) says global wheat prices have gone up from $345 (about Sh39, 295) per tonne to $460 (Sh52,394 )per tonne over the last four days.
Kenya's cost of living could rise March due to increasing global fuel prices and disruption of the global supply chain impact.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led to a price jump in oil prices which last week hit $100 per barrel for the first time since 2014.
This is likely to impact on this month's fuel review by the Energy Regulatory Authority unless the government continues to subsidies the cost of fuel.
The cost of food items drawn from wheat is also set to rise, as Kenya is a net importer from the two countries.
Yesterday, millers warned of an eminent price jump on wheat flour attributable to global wheat prices which have shot up up from $345 (about Sh39, 295) per tonne to $460 (Sh52,394 ) per tonne over the last four days.
Consequently, a 90 kg bag of wheat would cost approximately Sh5,650, with a two kilo packet projected to retail at between Sh180 and Sh200.
A two kilo packet of maize flour which was retailing at an average Sh90 in July last year has since gone up to Sh126.31.
Other basic commodities have also experience price increases which has seen Kenyans turn to social media to protest over high food prices.
According to the Cereal Millers Association (CMA), Kenya is reliant on Russian and Ukrainian wheat entirely in the second half of the year.
Other source markets such as Argentina and Australia harvest in December.
“The war between Russia and Ukraine has already affected global prices. Kenya relies on both Ukraine and Russia as one of the key exporters for grain as they account for 33 per cent of global wheat supplies,” CMA chief executive Paloma Fernandes told the Star.
Depending on the availability of wheat, prices are projected to cross $500 (Sh56,950 )per tonne, which would translate to $550 (Sh62,645) per tonne landed in Nairobi.
The Kenya Association of Manufacturers says a 400gram loaf of bread could go up from Sh55 to between Sh60-67.
"Undeniably, the Russia-Ukraine conflict shall affect the cost of production in Kenya, and further increase the cost of living in the country," KAM chief executive Phyllis Wakiaga said.
Separately, the Consumers Federation of Kenya (Cofek) has termed the latest inflation figures by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) a “public relations statement.”
On Monday, KNBS in its latest inflation data showed the cost of living eased to 5.07 per cent in February from 5.39 in January, despite a price increase in several food commodities.
“If one factor of inflation eases because of some pockets of rain, it doesn't mean inflation has eased at all," said Stephen Mutoro, Secretary-General Cofek.
He said real inflation is dictated by the cost of fuel and electricity which both are still high despite the subsidy and reviews.
He said the cost of cereals and other foodstuff is also high.
“Same to the cost of transport, health, education, and credit. They are all unusually high,” Mutoro said.
Financial Risk Analyst Mihr Thakar said: “The figures don't seem to represent the perceived reality for most Kenyans.”