Tanzania freezes Kenyan maize export licenses

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Tanzania freezes Kenyan maize export licenses, Tanzania has halted the issue of new export licenses for maize, which might exacerbate the current scarcity and drive up the price of flour to all-time highs.

The neighboring country stopped providing permits last week, according to several millers and animal feed firms who spoke to Business Daily.

According to United Grain Millers Association chairman Ken Nyaga, “we have been unable to receive maize from Tanzania since last week after the country stopped giving export permits to traders,” leading to an increase in the price of flour.

Publicity secretary John Gathogo of the Association of Kenya Feed Manufacturers claimed that as a result of the decision, his organization’s members are unable to obtain stocks from Tanzania.

Millers in Tanzania are only given one-time export permission for grain, so they must reapply every time they want to send a shipment of maize outside.

Since the two countries repaired their commercial ties following the death of former President John Magufuli last year, Tanzania has become an important supply market for maize to bridge shortages.

According to the Eastern Africa Grain Council, Tanzania’s imports nearly five-folded from 98,000 tonnes in 2020 to 469,474 tonnes last year. As a result, processors are competing for limited supplies of locally produced and imported goods from Zambia. Due to recent weak harvests, Tanzania has restricted exports to protect domestic supplies.

The Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) reported that Zambia is the likely source of the majority of the corn being imported into Kenya through the Namanga border.

The number of trucks carrying maize into Kenya from Tanzania has dropped dramatically, from 80 to just 10. This was reported by a Kebs employee at the Namanga border.

Since most inventories in Uganda, another important source, are now moving to South Sudan due to high pricing in Juba, Zambia is now the sole main source market for the product to bridge the local shortage.

Mill owners predict that the price of maize in their region will rise to Sh5,900 for a 90-kilogram bag from the current Sh5,400 due to the shortfall caused by Tanzania’s prohibition.

Due to a lack of available flour in the domestic market, Kenya has been forced to import supplies from neighboring countries like Tanzania and Uganda. The subsidy scheme that had reduced the price of flour to Sh100 terminated, and the price has since risen to its current level of Sh210 for a two-kilo pack.

There is a shortage of white maize in the region, which many countries depend on for flour and animal feeds.