Why Milk Prices Continue to Skyrocket

Various milk brands on the shelves of a Nairobi supermarket
Various milk brands on the shelves of a Nairobi supermarket

Kenyans will have to dig deeper into their pockets following a spike in prices of fresh milk over an acute shortage.

In a span of two months, the basic commodity has seen its price shoot up by over Ksh13 from Ksh45 in January to Ksh58 in March 2022 for a packet of 500ml.

Experts have cautioned that the prices are still expected to go up as the shortage in the market persists.

Speaking to the press, some of the retailers revealed that they are mulling initiating milk rationing to limit all buyers to only two packets each.

An image of milk
Milk being poured from a jar to a glass.

"I think I will start milk rationing either tomorrow or the day after because there is no milk. That will ensure that every customer gets at least a packet," a manager at Yako Supermarket told Citizen TV.

They further noted that they had noticed erratic patterns in the supply of the essential commodity from processors who site the long-winded drought as the main cause of the shortage.

"I was told that (the box I took) was the last one on the shelf. The 250ml was running out. I used to buy it at Ksh480n but it is Ksh680 now," stated Monica Waithera, a trader in Nakuru.

It is estimated that in leading Supermarket chains, the packed milk runs out as early as 5:00 p.m.

"The long drought is the cause of all this. There have been no long rains since December last year. That is what has caused the short supply," stated an expert.

Over the recent months, several commodities have experienced a spike in prices attributed to the increase in oil prices affected by a number of market forces.

According to the latest data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), milk recorded the highest per capita consumption 93.3 kilogrammes in 2018.

The milk was followed by maize and maize products (69.5kg), wheat products (41.3kg) and vegetables at 32.6kg.

Other products that have witnessed price spikes are Bread as well as cooking gas and fuel.

File image of people milking dairy cows.
File image of people milking dairy cows.
Citizen Digital