Kenyan retailers have said that there has been a slow movement of cargo to the port of Mombasa since the outbreak of Coronavirus and that has affected the supply of goods.
Most retailers have been importing their electronic goods from China, which is the epicenter of the coronavirus.
Prices of Commodities such as furniture, electronics, clothes and other items that are imported from China are likely to hike in the coming days if the coronavirus is not contained.
According to Tuskys’ Chief Executive Officer Dan Githua, the supermarket has already started looking for alternative suppliers.
However, the retailers said that some of the alternative suppliers are very expensive hence affecting the prices of the goods imported.
“We have been looking for alternative suppliers. And we realize that prices will go up,” Dan Githua announced.
According to Naivas, Kenyan consumers will start digging deeper into their pockets at the end of March 2020 as Coronavirus continues to affect supplies.
“We already have concerns from suppliers, and the effects on supplies will be apparent towards the end of the month,” said Naivas’ Chief Commercial Officer Willy Kimani.
“We expect the prices of key commodities especially electronics, clothing, and toys to rise because of supply hitches and the fact that we are sourcing from more expensive markets,” he added.
Meanwhile, the movement of goods into the country is likely to experience a slow as the screening process is mandatory at the ports.
Shippers Council of Eastern Africa (SCEA) Director Gilbert Lagat said all vessels and crew members arriving at the port are only cleared after the screening which is causing the slow movement.
Mr. Lagat also revealed that small scale small-scale importers who go to China for business are being denied visas, with Uganda whose main transit port is Mombasa recording the highest number.
According to Lagat, the small scale importers are the main contributors to the high supplies recorded at the port of Mombasa, thus when they are denied visas, the number of consolidated imported cargo that accounts for a substantive percentage of throughput will be affected.
So far coronavirus has claimed the lives of over 3000 while the number of people infected hitting 80,000 globally.
Businesses are closing down with some telling employees to work from home to prevent the further spread of the deadly virus.
Kenyan Business Feed is the top Kenyan Business Blog. We share news from Kenya and across the region. To contact us with any alert, please email us to [email protected]