10 Major Commodities Kenya Imports From Russia, Ukraine in Bulk

Photo collage between  Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President Uhuru Kenyatta and Russian President Vladimir Putin
Photo collage between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President Uhuru Kenyatta and Russian President Vladimir Putin

Economists have warned that prices of basic commodities will rise owing to the recent war between Russia and Kenya which has affected global trade. 

Kenya is in line to feel the heat of the conflict as both Ukraine and Russia are its key trade partners

Farmers were warned to brace themselves for tough times ahead given the spike in the price of fertilizer which is likely to take effect in the coming weeks.

Below are some of the common commodities that Kenya imports from Ukraine and Russia. 

A collage of the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.
A collage of the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.

1. Wheat

According to data from UN Comtrade, Kenya imported wheat worth Ksh16 billion from Russia in 2020. Additionally, another consignment estimated at Ksh1 billion was imported from Ukraine.

While some parts of the country plant wheat, used in the preparation of bread, the country often faces deficits given the change in climate and the ever-increasing demand for wheat by industries and Kenyans

2. Maize

On the other hand, maize is one of the products that dominate cereal imports from the two countries. However, the majority of the maize flour is exported by Russia.

It is estimated that the maize imports from Russia were estimated at Ksh1 billion. Such imports have also been explained by the deficit that the country faces due to the poor harvest that is experienced during some seasons.

3. Fertilizer 

During the course of the week, news of spiking fertilizer prices was rife. Farmers have already raised concern over the high price of fertilizer which is currently retailing at Ksh6,000 for the 50-kilogram bag.

This situation could soon worsen as warned by the Ministry of Agriculture amid reports that Russia is likely to suspend the export of fertilizer. 2020 UN Comtrade global trade reports that Kenya imported fertilizer worth Ksh4.9 billion from Russia. 

4. Iron sheets 

Both Ukraine and Russia are dominant exporters of Iron sheets to Kenya, Additionally Kenya imports steel from the two countries.

While Kenya imported iron sheets and steel worth Ksh13.4 billion from Russia, Ukraine exported the same commodities to Kenya at Ksh4.5 billion. According to the global trade data, iron sheets are the second-largest imports of Kenya from Russia after cereals.

Slices of bread
Slices of bread.

5. Paper board

Apart from paper, Kenya also imports paper boards from Russia which is used in the making of cardboards among other items. The annual imports of paper and paper boards from Russia are estimated at Ksh2.1 billion.

6. Oilseed 

For some oil manufacturing companies in Kenya, Russia and Ukraine play a key role as they depend on oilseed imports from the two countries. Particularly Ukraine is Kenya's major export for the product.

Some of the oilseeds include sunflower seed that makes sunflower oil. Also, the oilseed is often sold in supermarkets and retail markets. The country imported oilseed worth Ksh1 billion from Ukraine.

7.  Cleaning Machines

Unknown to many, Russia is one of the world's biggest manufacturers of cleaning machines such as dishwashing machines and vacuum cleaners that are used in cleaning cars and household carpets.

Additionally, Kenya imports refrigerators and freezers from Russia. UN Comtrade data indicates that Kenya imported refrigerators to work Ksh12.8 million from Russia in 2020. Other electronics include calculators and water heaters.

8. Vegetables

While Kenya depends on most of the vegetables from farm produce here in the country, some of the vegetables are imported from Russia. In 2020 Russia earned over Ksh52 billion from their vegetable exports to the rest of the world.

Such vegetables include sweet potatoes. In 2015 Kenya imported vegetables worth Ksh687 million from Russia, however, the number of imports has reduced over time.

In 2020, Kenya's vegetable imports amounted to Ksh200 million.

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An image of cooking oil

9.  Aluminum

In 2020, Aluminum valued at Ksh853 million was imported from Russia. Aluminum sheets are used to make aluminum steel and stainless steel.

Other aluminum products imported include aluminum wire, rods, and aluminum wire.

10. Soybeans

While major cereals imported from those two countries are wheat and maize, Soybeans also tops the list. 

Soybeans worth Ksh1 billion were imported from Ukraine. Soya bean is used to make soya substitute for tea or coffee.

Additionally, it is used in making animal feed and car tires.

File: A plate of ugali with chicken
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