- As economic crisis intensifies, some countries appear to be experiencing considerable supply shortages of some basic goods
- The continuous spread of Coronavirus has brought about economic damage to businesses in the world as Nigeria records its first death of Coronavirus with over 35 confirmed cases
- A survey conducted by Legit.ng at a popular market in Lagos, showed the stability in the cost price of some goods in the market and a reduction in others, despite this development
- Traders at the market revealed the buyers are not engaging in panic buying of any sort and that the spread of the virus has affected patronage to a large extent
With increasing number of new cases in various countries around the world, the economic consequences of the Coronavirus outbreak are already being felt heavily on the continent.
The effects of the crisis continue to bother on the existence of both young and old in the country and beyond. From the wide spread, business men and women continue to lament on the impacts so far, not leaving out the leaders who seek for solutions daily to contain the spread of the virus.
Legit.ng visited a popular market in Lagos state, to find out if buyers are engaging in panic buying or if the cost price of goods has increased drastically as the fight against the virus continues.
This period, one would think traders are smiling to the bank as buyers would troop into the market in numbers to engage in panic buying but from findings by our correspondent, the reverse is the case and due to the wide spread of the virus, some goods are supplied in low quantity while the demand of such goods become high and others scarce.
A trader, who sells phone accessories at the market, informed that the outbreak has led to increment in the cost price of imported items in the country thereby resulting to low patronage.
“It is not easy, the spread of the virus has affected the prices and availability of goods in the country. The price of imported goods rise further and others are scarce because no one wants to be infected with the virus hence some traders cannot travel out of the country now to get the items. We are not seeing any improvement so far in sales as the activities in the market have reduced. we are not making good sales and buyers are not buying differently.
“As most advanced nations are struggling to curb the spread of the virus, we are only selling goods that have been purchased in previous months, no new goods in the market now. With the way things are, we will run out of stock sooner than we think. Even as traders, we are not taking any chances as the prices of the goods we sell remain the same but some like ear pods, Bluetooth, headphone and ear-piece are expensive due to the rise in the cost of purchase,” The marketer revealed.
At the market, the rising demand of perishable goods has led to slight increment in the cost price. From observation by Legit.ng, the traders lament a drop in the supply of the goods due to the spread of the virus.
A tomato seller at the market stated that although the item is still very affordable, but with the emergence of new cases, one should hope for the worse as their supply would fall and demand would rise further.
She said: “Presently, there is an increasing demand for the goods but with new cases of the virus in the country, some traders would be afraid of traveling to purchase new goods as expected; and when this happens, the demand would rise and supply would drop. This is what we are experiencing from perishable goods now.
“A basket of fresh tomato that cost N8,000 before, has risen to about N9,000 while for pepper, a bag that goes for N7,000, has risen to N10,000; this is not the same with onion, as the price remains the same. A bag of onion is sold from N15,000 upwards; the size and content of the bag varies which in turn inform the cost price.
“Buyers are not buying goods in excess rather their quantity of purchase is lower than expected as some are not even willing to come to the market to get goods because they do not want to be infected. As you can see, the market is not busy as one would have expected now. Sales have dropped and business is slow. We are hoping the virus would be contained further and things would return to normalcy in the country and world at large.”
At the market, there is a reduction in the cost price of food items like rice, beans but garri maintains its old price. A trader attributed this development to the availability of the items in the country.
“In previous months, there was an increment in the cost price of local rice and even foreign rice but now, they have become very affordable and much more available but it is not the same with garri as the cost price has been affected due to seasonal factor, because they are produced locally.
“As it is now, a bag of local rice can be purchased from N18,000 while a bag of beans (olotu) can be purchased from N20,000 and a derica of oloyin beans cost N200 while a derica of olotu and oloone cost N130 and N150 respectively. For garri, a bag of garri (white) cost N7,500 while the yellow garri (bendel) cost N8,500. For groundnut oil, the cost price of branded ones have increased while refill cost N12,000 but the cost price of palm-oil has reduced. It was sold from N10,000 upwards in previous months, but now, it cost N8,000.
“The prices of goods have not increased drastically and buyers are not buying and it is the same old story that they tell; no enough money to purchase goods. One would not blame them as the economy of the country is bad and not helping matters in anyway. Considering our government’s stand now, other countries that tell their citizens to stay indoors have made adequate provision for them already but this is not so with us here. So our leaders should consider our shortcomings in the country before taking steps that might affect us negatively,” The rice seller explained to our correspondent.
Similarly, there were changes in the cost price of foodstuff items but the traders informed that despite the affordability, sales have not been encouraging.
The trader affirmed thus: “The price of foodstuff items remain stable in various markets across the state. The only problem we have is money; on the part of buyers, it is affecting their purchasing power while on the part of traders, it is hindering business growth and sustainability. It is only when one is financially buoyant that one can rush into the market to get goods without fear of the cost price. As it is now, some buyers are so broke that they just cannot afford to eat three square meals per day not to talk of coming to engage in panic buying.
“There is no rush in the market, as some traders are sitting idle in the shop daily; idleness has become the order of the day now. Only few buyers are purchasing goods in large quantities now. Some come around and lament bitterly and others come and they purchase goods according to their purse. We sell but enough to cover our expenses.
“The goods that are purchased from neighbouring states within the country are affordable. Crayfish and dry pepper are sold at cheaper rates; they are also supplied in large quantities. A bag of ogbono that draws well is sold from N80,000 while a bag of egusi can be purchased from N45,000, N46,000 and N47,000 depending on the market visited and the decision of the seller; not leaving out the content of the bag.”
In the country, it is believed that food prices increment is often due to seasonal factors such as transportation system, security issues in some region of the country and weather conditions, but some traders are of the view that the continuous spread of the virus in some state within the country might lead to food shortages in months ahead.
For goods like yam, vegetable, they are still sold at reasonable prices while perishable items become expensive and foodstuff items inexpensive.
A trader in the market, who sells fruits, explained to Legit.ng the new development in the cost price of the goods on display. According to her, the demand of dropped while supply rises.
“The recent change in the weather has resulted to the availability and non-availability of some goods yet, they are sold at reasonable prices. We are all facing a hard time and not all traders love to exploit their buyers; this phase would pass, its only a matter of time.
“A carton of big-sized apple is sold from N8,000 upwards while the small-sized apple is sold from N5,000 upwards. A small basket of mango can be purchased from N2,000 upwards depending on the type; same with oranges, African star apple and garden egg. But for lemon, pineapple and banana, they are quite expensive.
“Some goods that are in season are very affordable while the ones that are out of season, are a bit expensive. But, the supply of such goods keeps rising while the demand of the others drops faster which in turn affect sales. People are not buying in large quantity. Now, we end up selling in low prices so we won’t return home with our goods. The market is scanty, no rush at all rather we are the ones pleading with buyers for patronage. As for market generally, the turnout is quite discouraging,” The fruit seller lamented.
As economic crisis intensifies, some countries appear to be experiencing considerable supply shortages of some basic goods. Food items dealers were not satisfied with the recent market situation in relation to their business as they worry over the negative impact the virus has on the economy in a short while, ironically some business men/women are smiling to the bank as they explore new opportunities.
As others express optimism with the efforts so far by the government in the fight against wide spread of Coronavirus in the country, healthcare officials have been urged to be on high alert, so that the pandemic would be controlled and further contained as citizens are advised by the government to take full responsibility of their health with precautionary measures whilst traders anticipate for better sales ahead.
Coronavirus: Govt is lying to us about the virus via Legit TV