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Prices of local and foreign rice, cooking gas drops as traders lament January low sales

Global food prices declined in July but not in Nigeria

The prices of major staple food items have dropped in Lagos Markets compared to the prices recorded during the Christmas and New Year festivities.

The price of cooking gas, local and foreign rice, beans as well as tomatoes recorded a significant drop compared to the previous month’s hike in price due to the festive season in December.

However, major food items such as egg, melon, tubers such as yam and potatoes all recorded a month-on-month increase in price in the review month.

This is according to the latest market survey carried out in the popular markets in Lagos by Nairalytics, the research arm of Nairametrics. The markets are namely: Oyingbo, Mushin, Mile 12, and Daleko markets.

Highlights

  • According to the research report, the price of a 50kg of Royal Stallion rice decreased by 7.11% to sell for an average of N27,750 compared to N29,875 recorded in the previous month.
  • Likewise, the price of a big basket of tomatoes dropped by 22.1% to sell at an average of N13,625 compared to N17,500 recorded in December 2021.
  • The price of filling a 12.5kg of cooking gas dropped to an average of N7,850 as against an average of N8,650 recorded in the previous month.
  • In the same vein, the price of beans, particularly Oloyin, dropped by 15.1% to sell for an average of N34,375 in contrast to an average of N40,500 recorded in the previous month.
  • On the other hand, the price of Bush mango seed (ogbono) increased by 11.8%, selling at an N85,000 compared to the N75,000 recorded in December 2021.
  • A crate of egg that was sold for an average of N1,838 in December also increased by 4.1% month-on-month to sell for an average of N1,913 in January 2022.

What the NBS is saying

The National Bureau of Statistics released inflation figures for the month of December in the past week, printing a headline inflation rate of 15.63% and food inflation of 17.37%, both representing an uptick compared to the previous month.

  • According to the NBS< the increase in the country’s food inflation rate was caused by the significant increase in the price of bread and cereals, food product, meat, fish, potatoes, yam and other tubers, soft drinks and fruit.
  • A look at the food price list of the NBS for Lagos State, shows that the price of Agric eggs increased by 3.1% in December 2021 in contrast to the preceding month.
  • The price of an onion bulb skyrocketed by 21.8% month-on-month in the month under review.
  • Other items on the NBS list, which recorded significant increase in their prices in December 2021 includes, tomatoes, yam tuber, Irish potato, sweet potato, groundnut oil, maize amongst others.

Meanwhile, the Nairametrics food price report highlights information on items that witnessed price increase, price decrease compared to the previous month, as well as information on special markets, and insights.

Items that witnessed price increase

Despite the downtrend in the prices of majority of the food products comparable to the highs recorded in the previous month, it is worth noting that some major food items also surged in the same period.

  • A big sized Tuber of Abuja yam increased by 22.81% to sell for an average of N1,750 when compared to the initial average of N1,425 recorded last month,
  • Also, the price of a medium-sized yam rose by 9.38% to sell for an average of N875, as against the initial average of N800.
  • A pack of Power Pasta 500g increased by 8.40% to sell for an average of N355 when compared to the initial average of N328 recorded in December 2021.
  • 5 litres and 25 litres gallons of local Palm oil increased by 4.55% and 4.71% to sell for an average of N4,600 and N25,000 as against the initial averages of N4,400 and N23,875 respectively.
  • 5 litres and 25 litres gallon of local Vegetable oil increased by 20% and 11% to sell for an average of N5,100 and N27,750 compared to the initial averages of N4,250 and N25,000 respectively.

A big bag of garri (Ijebu) surged by 25.9% in the review month to sell for an average of N17,000 compared to an initial average of N13,500.

Items that reduced in price

The price of onions crashed in Lagos markets compared to the previous month. Notably, the price of a big bag of dry onions dropped by 18.9% to sell for an average of N47,875 from an initial average of N59,000.

  • A 50kg bag of Royal Stallion rice that was sold for average of N29,875 in December 2021 in now being sold for an average of N27,750, which represents a decline of 7.1%.
  • The price of a bag of beans (Oloyin), also dropped by 15.1% to sell for an average of N34,375 compared to an initial average of N40,500.
  • A 500g pack of Golden Penny Sugar recorded a 16.7% drop in price to sell for an average of N375.
  • The cost of filling a 12.5kg cylinder of cooking gas also declined by 9.2% to sell for an average of N8,650.
  • The price of frozen food items also recorded a month-on-month decline in the review period. Specifically, the price of a carton of full chicken dropped ny 1.4% to sell for an average of N17,750.

Market insights

The decrease in the price of food items was attributed to the decline in the sales turnover as most people already got lots of food items ahead of the new year.

The traders explained that Nigerians that January usual is a month of low sales, due to the recessive economic nature of the month, hence the people would naturally for this period buying stocking their food inventory before the new year.

The crash in the price of cooking gas was attributed to the increased supply of the product at the local market which has resulted into a marginal downtrend in the price of the highly in-demand product.

Recall, that Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG) announced earlier in the year, that it would be supplying 100% of its liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), otherwise known as cooking gas to the domestic market, which triggered a marginal correction in the price of gas in the country/

Mr. John, a gas dealer at Mushin Market explained to Nairametrics that the improved supply of gas in the market has helped moderate the price of the product in the market, however, he believes that the price of the product is very much high as a 12.5kg gas used to sell below N4,000 earlier in the previous year.

January, a month of low sales

A major comment from most of the traders interviewed by Nairametrics Research team was that sales have been very low since the start of the new year, attributing it to the seasonal cycle typical of the month of January.

According to the traders, the buyers have stocked their homes with food items in the previous month while shopping for the Christmas and New Year celebrations. While talking to Mrs Esther at Daleko Market, she explained that it is typical for January to recorded dwindling sales because we are heading into a new year from a period of significantly huge spending/

“In December, people spend a lot and try to ensure they have their houses stocked with food items, because the month of January has been notoriously known for being a time when people lack funds the most, especially with the demands from resuming schools, house rent and many more,” she said.

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