RUSSIA- UKRAINE WAR

Bread prices shoot up by Sh5 to Sh60

Millers say shortage has led to increase of wheat prices to over Sh4,000 per 90kg bag

In Summary

• “We are grappling with high cost of diesel on transport, expensive cooking oil and an increase in packaging material, which has gone up by 20 per cent,” Shah said.

• Kenya imports more than 60 per cent of wheat from Russia and Ukraine.

A loaf of bread in a Kenyan supermarket.
COST OF FOOD: A loaf of bread in a Kenyan supermarket.
Image: FILE

Consumers will have to dig deeper into their pockets to buy a loaf of bread as prices have increased by Sh5.

A spot check by the Star indicated that a 400g Super Loaf bread has gone up from Sh55 in April to Sh60.

Broadways has also indicated that it will increase the price of its 400g bread in the coming days to Sh60 from Sh55.

The 600g loaf will go up from Sh83 to Sh90 while the 800g, currently retailing at Sh110, will go up to Sh120. 

Kenyans are staring at a costly breakfast. Bread manufacturers have attributed the increase to the high cost of production.

“We are grappling with high cost of diesel on transport, expensive cooking oil and an increase in packaging material, which has gone up by 20 per cent,” Bimal Shah, the managing director of Broadways Group of Companies said last week.

This comes as millers raise concern of a looming wheat shortage that has led to the increase of prices globally.

Packets of wheat flour in a supermarket.
SHORTAGE: Packets of wheat flour in a supermarket.
Image: FILE

The CEO of Cereal Millers Association Paloma Fernades said by March a 90kg bag of wheat was selling at more than Sh4,000.

She said international prices jumped up by more than 100 dollars per metric tonne overnight and the price is expected to continue increasing.

Eastern African Grain Council executive director Gerald Masila said Kenya and East Africa are currently experiencing a wheat shortage because of the war in Russia and Ukraine.

He said Kenya imports more than 60 per cent of wheat from Russia and Ukraine.

“But with the war, we are currently not able to access that wheat. We are therefore staring at a shortage and Kenyans are already starting to feel it,” Masila said.

He said for the last couple of months, wheat prices have continued to increase globally.

“We have seen prices increase to more than (USD 580 dollars) Sh67,000 per tonne, up from an average of (USD 280 dollars) Sh32,000 per tonne.

"The price has almost doubled and this means we are going to see an increase in prices of wheat products including bread,” he said.

The director said Kenya is seeking to import wheat from India and Serbia to cushion consumers against the high cost of wheat flour.

He said wheat from India is significantly cheaper than the rest of the world, selling at a discount of about USD 50-80 dollars (Sh5,795 - Sh9,272).

“This is cheaper than world wheat, which is almost more than USD 500 dollars (Sh57,950) per tonne. Nigeria, South Africa, Oman, Egypt and Israel have approached India to supply wheat to meet their demand. Tanzania and Uganda have also been allowed to purchase wheat from India,” Masila said.

He however said Kenyan millers cannot import from India due to a ban issued by KEPHIS many years back because of phytosanitary concerns.

Millers have asked the government to review the ban and help avert the looming shortage.

(Edited by Bilha Makokha)

“WATCH: The latest videos from the Star”