10 November 1998
Kenyan sugar sector in crisis over fraud

KENYAS sugar sector is in turmoil amid evidence of widespread fraud, reports the Financial Times.

One minister is standing trial accused to diverting duty-free exports on to the local market. This, and other scams, have undermined a local industry already suffering from a combination of local inefficiency and dropping world prices.

Traders are estimated to have evaded import duties on up to 90,000 tonnes in the first eight months of the year.

This has left the countrys seven sugar companies with 80,000t of unsold stocks. Several are in default to their financiers.

The Government recently increased a sugar import levy to 40% and raised import tariffs on imported sugar to 95%. Unprotected domestic produce, which costs about $500/t before tax to produce, faces world prices of $250/t or lower.

  • Financial Times 10/11/98 page 34