Prices of food items jump across Lagos markets, as traders lament transport fare hike
As Nigerians continue to adjust to the “new normal” that has characterized the gradual easing of the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown, they are concerned about the significant increase in the prices of food items, particularly across Lagos markets.
Meanwhile, traders have blamed the price jump on the high cost of transportation and scarcity of some essential food items.
These were all revealed in the latest household market survey carried out by Nairametrics Research. According to the latest report, the price of items such as beans, pepper, palm oil, onions, tomatoes, garri, and potatoes significantly increased. For instance, a big bag of pepper is currently sold for an average of N15,000, which indicates an increase of 114.3% when compared to the pre-lockdown price of N7,000.
Similarly, the price of a big bag of dry onions spiked by 30.77%, as it currently sells for an average of N17,000. In the same vein, a basket of sweet potatoes sells for an average of N15,000, marking a 150% increase when compared to N6,000 pre-lockdown price.
The rest of this report further highlights other items that witnessed a significant increase in price, items that recorded a decrease in price, items that maintained initial prices, special markets, and key market insights.
Items that witnessed price increase
Some of the items that recorded significant increase in price include:
• A 50kg bag of Royal Stallion rice currently selling for an average of N27,333, compared to an initial average of N26,167 recorded in March.
• A gallon of locally made palm oil (5 Litres) is currently sold for an average of N2,025, indicating a 22.73% increase compared to its initial price of N1,650. A 25-litre gallon of palm oil increased by 6.67% to sell for an average of N10,000 compared to N9,375.
• A 50kg bag of Mama Gold rice, which was initially sold for an average of N19,250 increased by 5.84% to an average of N20,375 while Mama’s Pride rice increased marginally to an average of N19,375.
• A 50kg bag of white beans, which was initially sold for an average of N18,250 in March, now sells for an average of N21,125. This indicates a 15.75% increase in price.
• Also, a big sized bag of brown beans recorded a 9.27% increase in price to sell for an average of N20,625 compared to an initial average of N18,875.
• An 80kg bag of garri (Ijebu) currently sells for an average of N13,000. This indicates a 94% increase compared to the initial average of N6,700 recorded in March.
• Also, a 50kg bag of white garri spiked by 50% to sell for an average of N11,250, while yellow garri (50kg) recorded 58.1% increase in price to sell for an average of N12,250 compared to a reference price of N7,750.
• A big basket of round shaped tomatoes, which was sold for an average of N5,500 in March, has risen significantly by 127.3% as it now sells for an average of N12,500.
• The price of fish also rose as a big sized Horse Mackerel (Kote) that was for an initial average of N525 is now sold for an average of N563, while Titus (Mackerel) fish is currently sold for an average of N575.
• A bag of yellow maize currently sells for an average of N14,000, compared to an average of N13,000 recorded in March, while a bag of white maize sells for an average of N13,750.
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Items that recorded a decrease in price
Despite the increase recorded in the prices of major household food items, the prices of some items however declined.
• A 12.5kg cylinder of cooking gas is now being refilled for an average of N3,375. Indicating a 15.63% reduction in price from an average of N4,000 in March.
• Also, a 5kg cylinder of cooking gas is currently filled for an average of N1,375 compared to an average of N1,725 recorded in March.
• A big bag of melon seeds (egusi) currently sells for an average of 38,000. A 7.32% decrease in price compared to N41,000 recorded in March 2020.
• A tuber of yam is currently sold for an average of N1,250. Compared to initial value of N1,375. The price of yam reduced by 9.1% while a medium-sized tuber of Abuja yam currently sells for an average of N713.
Items that maintained initial price
Household items that maintained their initial prices include milk, cocoa beverages, vegetable oil, and flour.
• A 400g of Peak Powdered milk (tin) continues to sell for an average of N1,213 while 900g still sells for an average of N2,375.
• 500g and 900g tins of Milo still sell for averages of N1,038 and N2,075 respectively across the four markets.
• 5-Litre and 25-Litre gallons of locally made vegetable oil maintained their initial prices at N2,200 and 12,575 respectively.
• The Nairametrics Research team identified new brands of beans at the market — Gombe beans, which is sold for an average of N21,500 per bag, and Niger beans which sells for an average for N17,000.
• A big bag of dried bush mango seeds (Ogbono) is currently sold for average of N75,000 compared to an initial value of N90,000, while a bag of new bush mango seeds sells for N50,000 as against its initial value of N70,000.
• A bag of crayfish also recorded a decrease in price from an average of N15,000 to N12,500.
The lockdown and hike in the cost of transportation triggered increases in the price of food items. This was disclosed by a frozen food trader at Mushin market. She said:
“Due to the hike in transportation, we now sell a full chicken for an average of N1,700 compared to an initial average of N1,400, while 1 kg of Turkey sells for N1,500 compared to N1,300 recorded in March 2020. Also, Chicken lap which was sold for N1,000 in March now sells for an average of N1,400, while a carton of Titus fish that was sold for N19,000 in March now sells for an average of N21,000.”
She further explained that due to the practice of social distancing, the cost of transportation has increased significantly, hence affecting the prices of many commodities in the market.
On his part, Mr. Ruwa, an onion seller at Mile 12 market, stated that the increase in the price of onions is due to the scarcity of the item which is produced mainly in Northern Nigeria. According to him, the price of onions rose significantly due to the scarcity of dry onions due to the season.
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