Oranges outlook in this first month of 2015


Oranges, together with lemons and other citrus fruit varieties are one of the most important fruit crops in Kenya ranking fourth after bananas, pineapples and mangoes (MOA 2007).  Locally, they are mostly sourced from the Coastal areas, Eastern, and Rift valley provinces. According to Agricultural Development Corporation, local supply doesn’t meet demand and that’s why we import most of citrus from other countries. These countries include our neighbors Uganda and Tanzania.

For the last four months, prices of oranges have been rising in most of the markets in Kenya.  Mombasa has been the most affected as its prices rose from KES 1751 in October 2014 to currently average at KES 3012 per 100 kg bag. This is over 100% price increase. Nairobi was also highly affected as its price rose by more than half (54%) to a current average of KES 3760. Kisumu, Eldoret and Nakuru were not much affected as their price rose by less than 10%. Nakuru recoded stable prices that fluctuated around KES 3310 per bag at a rate of 5% variation coefficient.

In Mombasa, Oranges are usually sourced from Shimba hills and they are mostly in high supply around March to August period. At this moment, there are very few oranges coming from this area and that’s the major reason why the prices have been rising. This has also affected Nakuru prices as it acts as one of Nakuru’s major source of oranges alongside Kamba land.

Nairobi, Eldoret and Kisumu are sourcing their oranges from Uganda. Supply from this area is almost over.  In Nairobi, only 2 to 3 Lorries are now hitting the market. A bag of oranges (100Kg bags) in Uganda is going for 80,000 Ugandan shillings per 100 kg bag (Approximately KES 2,500) with traders in Nairobi re-selling it around KES 3600 per bag.

With the prices going high, most of the consumers in Nairobi have opted to quench their thirst with mangoes especially the local ones which are currently flooding the markets. According to those traders, they are anticipating a move to start sourcing for more oranges from Tanzania. 

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