Serbia is Eyeing Kenya for Wheat Exports to Ease Supply Deficit 

Acros combine harvesters, manufactured by Rostselmash OJSC, unload harvested wheat grain into a truck during the summer harvest on a farm in Tersky village, near Stavropol, Russia, on Friday, July 9, 2021. Farmers from Kansas to Kyiv are gearing up to collect abundant wheat crops in coming weeks, helping ease a global grain shortfall that’s fueled a surge in prices.

Serbia wants to ship at least 150,000 tonnes of wheat to Kenya in order to fill the void created by Russia and Ukraine following their war.

Dargan Zupanjevac, Serbia’s ambassador to Kenya, said the nation has held discussions with millers and the Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC) about exporting grain to Kenya to avoid a supply shortage.

Serbia is one of the world’s top wheat producers, with yields every year ranking among the top 50.

“We want to explore if Serbia can cover the hole left by Russia and Ukraine by shipping wheat to Kenya, avoiding a supply shortage that Kenya may experience in the coming months,” Mr Zupanjevac said.

Serbia imposed a temporary embargo on wheat and other commodity exports in March, with Kenya expected to profit if the restrictions are reversed.

Kenya imports a third of all the product necessary to fulfil local demands, relying on wheat from Ukraine and Russia.

Local millers are currently unable to obtain wheat from the Black Sea due to the shutdown of ports along this trade corridor as a result of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. They petitioned the government last month to relax the import prohibition on India, which they described as an alternative market.

Following the present standoff in eastern Europe, some nations are looking for alternate source markets. Tanzania and Uganda have said they will import the grain from India to meet their domestic requirements.

Millers have stated that their inventories will last until August before they bring in grain, and that prices would certainly rise due to the market’s pricey harvest.

“Due to the present worldwide pricing, the fresh crop we’re purchasing will be costly.” “What we’re selling is stock that we ordered before the Ukraine-Russia situation,” Rajan Shah, CEO of Capwell Industries, explained.

Due to the local scarcity, the price of a two-kilo packet of wheat flour has risen to Sh180 from Sh130, with millers warning that supplies may deteriorate in the coming months if the situation does not improve.

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