Tanzania has frozen the issuance of new maize export permits for Kenyan traders since last week, a move likely to worsen the shortage of the product in Kenya, and drive its prices up.
Millers are issued with a one-off permit for grain export from Tanzania and they need to apply for a new one every time they intend to ship maize out of that country.
The development has left processors jostling for stocks that are available locally and a few imports coming in from Zambia. Tanzania restricts exports to protect its local stock following poor harvests.
The move leaves Zambia as the only key source market for the produce to bridge the local deficit as most stocks from Uganda— also a key source — is now heading to South Sudan owing to high prices in Juba.
The East African reports that the shortage occasioned by Tanzanian ban will push up the price of maize locally to $49.06 for a 90-kilogramme bag from $44.91.
In June this year, Tanzania increased the cost of export permits by 93% from the previous KES27,000 per truck to KES52,000, according to border officials.