KENYA – Kenya’s dairy imports from Uganda experienced a significant surge, nearly tripling in the year leading up to June 2023, with the trade volume reaching US$210 million (Kes29 billion), according to analysts.

The increase was attributed to heightened production in Uganda and a growing demand from Kenyan processors.

The imported dairy products included butter, cheese, ghee, ultra-heat-treated (UHT) milk, yoghurt, and milk powder.

Data from the Uganda Dairy Development Authority (DDA), the regulator of the dairy sub-sector, revealed that Uganda exported dairy products worth USh810.56 billion (Kes29.2 billion) to Kenya during this period.

The amount constituted 83% of Uganda’s total dairy product exports, firmly establishing Kenya as Uganda’s largest dairy market.

This figure also marked a remarkable growth of 187.6 % from the previous year, when Uganda exported USh281.83 billion (Kes10.15 billion) worth of dairy products to Kenya.

Uganda’s overall dairy exports witnessed a significant increase of 158%, reaching US$264.5 million (Kes37.86 billion) during the period.

This surge was credited to Uganda’s impressive 37% growth in milk production, reaching 3.85 billion liters, up from 2.81 billion liters in the preceding year.

Despite the restrictions Kenya has imposed on certain dairy product imports from Uganda, the remarkable surge in dairy imports indicates the resilience and efficiency of the trade relationship between the two East African nations.

Uganda had previously expressed concerns about Kenya’s limited permits for milk imports from Kampala, but ongoing talks at the highest policy levels aim to address these issues.

The surge in local production and imports from Uganda played a crucial role in stabilizing milk prices in Kenya, offering a significant benefit to consumers.

Data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics indicates a retail price of Kes57.31 for a 500-milliliter packet of fresh cow milk last month, representing a slight decline compared to Kes57.61 in February of the previous year.

A check at major supermarkets like Naivas and Carrefour also revealed the retail price of a 500ml packet of fresh milk ranging between Kes54 and Kes68 and between Kes47 and Kes64, respectively.

Meanwhile, the increased supply from Uganda has contributed to a more stable market, providing consumers with a consistent and accessible source of dairy products.

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