Food Survey: Price of yam rises over 60% in two weeks

The price of yam tuber rose significantly across markets in Lagos State, recording a 66.4% price increase in the space of two weeks. Also, the price of Olaola Poundo Yam recorded a 23.7% increase in the period under review.

This is according to the bi-monthly market survey carried out by the research arm of Nairametrics, Nigeria’s top online news platform which comprises of four major markets in Lagos state namely; Oyingbo, Daleko, Mushin and Mile 12.

According to the report, a big-sized yam tuber initially sold for an average of N1,413 two weeks ago has galloped to an average of N2,350. In the same vein, a medium-sized yam tuber rose from an initial average of N875 to sell at N1,300.

The increase in the price of food items was attributed to the decline in farm labour due to a high level of insecurity, and seasonal fluctuations. continuous spike in the cost of transportation as a result of bad road network and surge in fuel prices. The traders also highlighted unnecessary payments to touts and union members as contributing factors to the hike.

On the reverse side, the price of a medium-sized bag of pepper dropped by 16.93% to sell for an average of N19,625 compared to N23,625 recorded two weeks ago. Likewise, a 350g refill of Dano milk now sells for an average of N1,400 from an initial average price of N1,700, thereby representing a 17.65% decline in price.

The report contains information on items that witnessed price increases, price decreases, as well as information on special markets, and insights.

Items that recorded increase

  • A 50kg bag of Royal Stallion rice currently sells for an average of N29,000, rising by 6.42% from an initial average of N27,250 recorded two weeks ago.
  • The price of a crate of eggs witnessed a 9.8% increase to sell for an average of N2,100 compared to a previous average of N1,913.
  • Similarly, a small basket of round shaped tomatoes increased by 12.80% to sell for an average of N17,625 against N15,625 recorded as of 6th May 2022 while a big bag of new onions recorded a 10.70% increase to sell for an average of N25,875.
  • In addition, a 0.9kg of Olaola Poundo Yam flour now sells for an average price of N2,875, indicating a significant increase of 23.66% when compared to the average price of N2,325 recorded two weeks ago.
  • Also, a kilogram of kote (horse mackerel) fish rose by 14.63% to sell for an average of N1,763. It was initially sold for an average of N1,538.
  • Other items that witnessed price increases within the two weeks under review, include Semolina, turkey, wheat, bread, sugar etc.

Items that dropped in prices

Despite the increase in the price of notable food items, some food commodities recorded a moderation in price in the period under review.

  • The price of a 10kg pack of Honeywell wheat meal reduced to sell for an average of N4,875 as against N5,400, indicating a 9.72% drop in price.
  • An 80kg bag of white beans recorded a decline of 8.78% to sell for an average of N55,825 compared to the initial average of N61,200.
  • Furthermore, a 500g pack of St’ Loius Sugar now sells for an average of N588 indicating a 7.84%.
  • The price of Dangote Pasta moderated slightly by 4.33% to sell for an average of N6,625.

What NBS is saying

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in the previous week released the nation’s consumer price index, which showed that Nigeria’s inflation rate rose to 16.82% in April 2022 as a result of the increase in energy and food prices. This represents the highest rate recorded since August 2021.

On a month-on-month basis also, the headline index increased by 1.76% in April 2022, compared to a 1.74% increase recorded in the previous month.

Most interestingly, the food inflation, which is a closely watched index, rose to 18.37% in the review month, an increase compared to the 17.2% recorded in the preceding month.

According to the NBS, the rise in the food index was caused by increases in the prices of Bread and cereals, Food products, Potatoes, yams and other tubers, Wine, Fish, Meat, and Oils.

Also, the average annual rate of change of the Food sub-index for the twelve-month period ending April 2022 over the previous twelve-month average is 18.88%, 0.34% points from the average annual rate of change recorded in March 2022 (19.21%).

Market insights

  • In a conversation with Mallam Mutaru at Mile-12 Market, he stated that the cost of tomatoes, pepper and onions are always fluctuating as time and seasonality affect their prices. He explained that the price can change within an hour of visiting the markets which makes their prices unstable.
  • “Some tomato baskets contain lots of bad ones which affect their price. The price of a medium bag of pepper that contains bad pepper sells between N12,000 to N13,000 while the good ones sell between N17,000 to N20,000,” he said.
  • On the other hand, Mr Obi, a trader at Mushin market, lamented that because of the increase in dollars, he now has fewer customers who patronize his store to purchase bags of rice especially foreign made. According to him, the depreciating nature of the naira against the US dollar is significantly affecting the purchasing power of customers hence disrupting sales.
  • “I know of a customer who always buys (mama gold) foreign rice but now chooses to buy stone-free rice (local) because he has to cut cost and now prefers cheaper rate than quality,” he said.
  • Meanwhile, a major maize seller in Daleko market, Mr Sunday, complained that the cost of loading and offloading bags of maize has drastically affected the price of maize, thereby causing it to increase.
  • He explained that the price of the commodity has been on the rise before now due to scarcity driven by the Russia-Ukraine face-off. However, the cost of “settling” touts and union members before entering the market with supplies also contribute to the price hike.
  • In the same vein, Madam Tobi, a trader at Oyingbo market who deals in bush mango seed, known as Ogbono said most consumers don’t patronise her again since the price has increased, they no longer go for bags again but rather buy in smaller quantity.
  • She blamed the present administration for allowing the exchange rate to get to this level and also highlighted the state of insecurity in some states known for producing perishable goods.
  • “I’m thereby calling on the government to come to our aid because this is where I feed from, and take care of my household because I’m the breadwinner of her family,” she lamented.

About Nairametrics Food Price Survey

Nairametrics Food Price Watch is a bi-monthly Market Survey that covers the prices of major food items in Nigeria, with emphasis on four major markets in Lagos – Mushin Market, Daleko Market, Oyingbo Market, and Mile 12 Market.

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