A survey conducted by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) among agricultural stakeholders has projected a decline in 15 food items including cooking oil.
In the Agricultural Survey Report released on Friday, CBK noted that cooking oil prices would begin to drop this month owing to the drop in global prices and the recovery of global palm oil production.
Currently, a 2-litre jerrican of cooking oil across most used brands is being sold at Ksh670.
Also expected to drop this month are basic cereals such as green grams given the harvests that are currently ongoing in parts of the country.
An image of various cooking oil brands on display in a supermarket.
“In the case of cereals and grains, some respondents noted that the expected supplies from the lower Eastern region, where harvesting of beans, maize and green grams is ongoing, will lead to a decline in the prices of these commodities,” read the report in part.
On the other hand, given the recent rains that were witnessed in December and January several vegetables such as sukuma wiki, spinach, traditional vegetables and cabbage will record a decline this month.
“The respondents expected a lesser price decline one-month ahead, which largely reflects seasonal factors. However, price expectations of onions, carrots, tomatoes and potatoes point to a decline, consistent with subsiding rainfall as these crops do well in a limited rainfall environment.
“Harvesting of onions in prime growing areas of Kajiado, namely, Kimana, Selengei, Namanga, and Oloitoktok is expected to start towards the end of February 2024 and to continue until March 2024. Domestic prices of onions are also largely dictated by the production and pricing of onions from Tanzania,” CBK’s report added.
However, farmers have spelled doom for Kenyans who depend on rice, whose production was affected by the floods witnessed during the El Nino rains.
The report also highlighted that the importation of rice would prove costly owing to market dynamics including the weakening shilling.
“The expectation that rice prices will increase was informed by concerns about increasing import costs, driven by the value of the Kenya shilling vis-à-vis foreign currencies and deteriorating supply chains following the disruption of shipments through the Red Sea and the Suez Canal.
“However, the expectations of increased rice prices were less pronounced in the January 2024 survey compared to the December 2023 survey,” read the report in part.
Currently, most 1kg brands are being sold over Ksh350.