Food Prices Rise At The Sharpest Rate In Two Years

April 29, 2022
3 Min Read
Food Prices Rise At The Sharpest Rate In Two Years

Food Prices Rise At The Sharpest Rate In Two Years

The cost of food in the country (food inflation) has recorded its biggest jump in 24 months.

According to an analysis of inflation data by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), food inflation this month has increased to 12.1 per cent from 9.9 per cent in March, the highest rate since April 2020.

The CBK has attributed the extended rise in food costs to seasonality factors linked to reduced precipitation to support food production at the start of the year and global supply chain disruptions.

The disruptions which are closely linked to the fallout from the Russia-Ukraine war have affected the pricing of commodities such as wheat and cooking oil whose local supply is heavily reliant on the import market.

According to data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), the month-to-month food and non-alcoholic beverages index increased by three per cent between March and April 2022.

A year over year contrast of specific food items reveals the runaway costs pressure which sent April’s overall inflation rate to a seven month high 6.47 per cent.

The salad cooking oil has registered the steepest price movement at 41.7 per cent with one litre of the commodity moving from Ksh.248.47 to Ksh.351.99 across 12 months.

The cost of onions has meanwhile jumped by 29.8 per cent from April 2021 with a kilogram of the produce now costing Ksh.139.19.

The cost of wheat flour has meanwhile soared by 24.7 per cent year over year to Ksh.160.70 for a two-kilogram pack from Ksh.128.84 in April last year.

Meanwhile, the price of a two-kilo pack of sifted maize flour has moved from Ksh.117.51 to Ksh.134.79.

Nearly all other basic food items have registered notable increases in cost including milk, potatoes, tomatoes and beef.

The high food costs put together with greater fuel costs have conspired to drive up the headline inflation rate.

Core inflation (non-food, non-fuel inflation) has remained low at 2.5 per cent in April compared to 2.2 per cent in March.

According to the CBK, the low core inflation print is reflective of minimal demand pressures in the economy.

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