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Kenya’s sugar production to increase 40% owing to historic harvest

Kenya’s sugar production is expected to increase by 40 per cent through April 2025 to 750,000 metric tons (MT) due to a historic harvest of 190,000 hectares.

This increase in area harvested follows the expiration of a ban on sugarcane harvesting issued by Kenya’s Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA). 

USDA’s Foreign Agriculture Service anticipates sugar imports will decline 30 per cent to 455,000 MT as increased domestic production accounts for more of Kenya’s sugar supply.

In July 2023, AFA imposed a sugarcane harvest ban to curtail premature collection triggered by the high demand for cane by millers. This ban expired in November 2023.

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Sugar imports are forecast to decrease to 455,000 MT from 655,000 MT the year before as

higher domestic production accounts for more of Kenya’s supply and reduces the need to import sugar.

Kenya traditionally sources duty-free sugar imports from the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) countries capped at 350,000 MT.

In 2023, due to low exportable COMESA sugar supplies, Kenya imported most of its sugar from non-COMESA countries, with Brazil and India accounting for the majority of imported sugar.

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This trade shift was facilitated by issuing a duty-free window for sugar from non-COMESA countries in March 2023. To reduce high sugar prices, the Government of Kenya authorized up to 290,000 MT of sugar to enter duty-free from outside COMESA and the EAC. This window expired in December 2023.

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