- The year 2020 is one that would be remembered in history for a major event that changed the narrative and brought in the new normal
- In wake of happenings in the country and beyond, Legit.ng came up with list of goods and food items with price variation before the pandemic, during the pandemic and now
- Findings by Legit.ng showed that the cost of purchase of food prices are informed by coronavirus pandemic, seasonal factors, inflation, security issues, floods and some government policies as the prices of the goods are not fixed
- Although the fight against COVID-19 is not over but traders and sellers are sure of better days in the coming year
2020 is an eventful year that full of surprises, one of such surprises was the coronavirus pandemic; one many never saw coming. It is that year that would never be forgotten by all at home and abroad; a year that changed the usual business narrative and brought the new normal of doing things.
It’s that time of the year where people take stock of all they have done through the year and make possible adjustment to do better in the coming year.
This week, Legit.ng came up with goods and food items whose prices fluctuate, increased or decreased before the pandemic, during the pandemic and now.
The prices of foodstuff in Nigerian markets are never stable, as they are influenced by the economy, weather condition, security challenges, transportation network and more as well as market locations.
This year, there was a notable difference in the cost price of goods due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on global economy. Some goods whose prices were relatively low increased while the ones that were expensive dropped as others fluctuate.
Also, due to restrictions placed by foreign countries, some goods were scarce and the available ones were offered for sale at exorbitant prices.
At the market, traders revealed that the impact of the pandemic on food prices influenced the pace of business to a large extent making traders to count their loss rather than gains as the year come to a close today.
Below, are list of some goods with price variations from the start of 2020 till date;
As one of the most sought-after food item in Nigeria, rice is cultivated in all the states within Nigeria. But the main areas of rice cultivation in the country are the middle-belt, the northern states of Nigeria and the southern-eastern states of Nigeria.
Nigeria is one of the largest producers of rice in west Africa, yet its imported rice is still affordable than some of its local rice as the amount cultivated by the farmers cannot meet the local demand of the produce coupled with increased cost of production.
In 2019, the federal government of Nigeria, shut its border against smuggling and illegal importation of rice, which then makes the imported rice scarce and expensive thus bringing about the increment of its local rice production in the country.
At the beginning of 2020, a bag of rice was sold from N18,000 upwards while foreign rice was sold from N20,000, N22,000 and N24,000 upwards due to the border closure. But in recent months, following the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy, a bag of foreign rice was sold from N30,000 upwards while the cost of production of the local rice increased, local rice became very expensive as well. A bag of local rice was then offered for sale from N19,000 upwards and N20,000 upwards depending on the type.
In recent months and weeks, the cost price of foreign rice increased making it difficult for local rice to be affordable too and when the nation’s economy became harder, the border was reopened, this then brought about the reduction in the cost price of foreign rice yet the local rice still maintained its old price of N19,000, N23,000 and N24,000.
Now, a bag of foreign rice is sold from N26,000 and below while a bag of local rice is sold from N19,000 upwards and N22,000 upwards. The demand for this item makes it a profitable business in the country irrespective of one’s business location and market.
Nigeria is one of the largest producers of beans in the world as it is grown in states like Sokoto, Borno, Gombe, Zamfara, Kano and Yobe. Beans is another food item whose demand in the Nigerian market is very high and the supply varies with the weather condition or seasonal factors.
The cost price of beans is not fixed, it fluctuates depending on the season or weather condition as well as happenings in the country. But in recent times, the security challenges wherein the item is grown influenced the cost price as well as the high cost of transportation; the content of the bag and the type of beans also inform the cost price too.
We have different type of beans; we have the white beans and the brown beans (oloyin, olotu and oloone).
Before, a bag of beans (oloyin) cost N17,000 and N18,000 but now, it is sold from N19,000, N20,000 and N21,000 upwards.
For beans, (olone), a bag cost N35,000, N40,000 and above before, but now it is sold from N30,000 and below. For beans, the bigger the bag, the higher the price. The more content you have in the bag, the higher the cost of purchase.
Garri is a popular staple food in Nigeria and it is loved by all. A bag of garri, cost N8,000 as against its old price of N5,000 and N6,000 respectively. Now, a small bag of garri (white) is sold from N11,000 and N12,000 upwards while a small bag of garri (yellow) is sold from N13,000 upwards and the big bag from N20,000 upwards.
PALM-OIL AND GROUNDNUT-OIL (COOKING OIL)
If you want a tasty meal, you need to shop for palm-oil or the groundnut-oil of a reputable brand and one of good quality too.
At a popular Lagos market, cooking oil was sold from N8,000, N9,000 and N10,000 upwards before the border closure in 2019 but in the beginning of the year 2020, a 25-litre of palm-oil cost N11,000 and N12,000. Presently, it increased from N12,000 to N17,000 upwards for palm-oil as some sell higher than this price.
For groundnut-oil, it is sold from N16,000 upwards and some still sell from N18,000 especially the branded ones as against its old price of N14,000 and N13,500.
Traders in the market attribute the hike in the cost price of both items to the economy, coronavirus pandemic and the border closure in 2019.
OGBONO AND EGUSI
Ogbono is a foodstuff item that is loved by many. As a staple food in southeastern Nigeria, you can purchase its seed from states like Ebonyi state and cross river state. You can also purchase ogbono from Badagry, Togo, Cameroon and Benin but the most sought after ogbono is the Badagry ogbono and it is very expensive.
A bag of ogbono was offered for as low as N65,000 and N70,000 upwards before but now, it has risen to over N100,000. A bag of ogbono is sold from N120,000 while the Badagry ogbono, can be purchased from N130,000 upwards.
For egusi, it was expensive at the beginning of the year 2020 due to the border closure in the year 2019 but after the lockdown, both items were very affordable, sellers informed. Now, ogbono is still offered for sale at an expensive rate while egusi is very affordable.
Before, a bag of egusi is sold from N60,000 upwards but now, it is sold from N40,000 and below (machine peel) while most traders do not sell the handpeel as it is expensive and is sold from N45,000 upwards, some sell theirs from N50,000 upwards depending on the size of the bag.
Yam is a food item that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. It can be enjoyed with vegetable, dry fish or assorted when prepared as porridge and it can be enjoyed with soups like ogbono soup, pepper soup, egusi soup, afang, edikaikong soup, seafood okro soup, eforiro and more, when prepared as pounded yam.
From the period in which the border was shut till the year 2020, yam became very expensive and sometimes scarce. But factors which influenced the cost price of yam in Nigerian market are seasonal factors (planting and harvest time) and the change in the weather condition. Sometimes the weather condition in the country do not favour the farmers as well as the land wherein they are grown.
At the beginning of the year 2020, a small tuber of yam is sold from N500 upwards as against its old price of N200, N250 and N300 while a big tuber of yam is sold from N700, N800 and N1000 upwards; depending on the market visited.
Later, yam is still very expensive and when new yam was supplied in the market, a small tuber of yam was then sold from N300 upwards with the big tuber from N600 and N700 upwards.
Now, yam is still very expensive due to security issues and high cost of transportation as bad roads affects the ease of carriage from neighbouring state to the marketplace. A big tuber of yam is sold from N700 and N800 upwards while a small tuber of yam is sold from N400 and N500 in markets across the state depending on the level of purchase as the sellers’ reduce the cost price of the goods when a buyer is willing to buy from three to five tubers upward and tend to increase when you purchase from a tuber.
In Lagos market, if you cannot afford a tuber of yam now at the market, you can at least afford sweet potato. Even though sellers revealed that it is also very expensive, sweet potato is sold at reasonable prices. At Jakande market and Mile 12 international market, you can get sweet potato for as low as N100 upwards but at a reduced quantity.
Prior to this period, a bag of sweet potato can be purchased from N6,000 and N8,000 but now, it has increased to N10,000 and N12,000 upwards as some sellers in Lagos market do not have the goods when buyers come asking. According to them, the item is a bit scarce now, the supply is very low and when it is available, the cost of purchase is very high.
The cost price of perishables like tomatoes, pepper and onion are given according to seasonal factor, supply level and the market location. Often, these items are very affordable in neighbouring states, but the high cost of transportation and security challenges in the country inform the cost price of perishables in the state.
Prior to this period, their cost price fluctuates as it is not really fixed. In the first three month of the year 2020, a basket of tomato is sold at affordable prices; from N7,000, N8,000 and N10,000 upwards but with the security challenges in the northern part of the country in recent months, their prices escalate.
Before, a basket of tomato was sold from N18,000 upwards but now the cost price dropped and it is sold from N5,000, N8,000 and N10,000 upwards depending on the size of the basket and the type of tomato as well as the market visited same with pepper as a bag is sold from N7,000 upwards.
Recently, the cost of purchase for onion increased by over fifteen percent in the market as a bag of onion that cost N18,000 and N22,000, has risen to N40,000, N50,000 and N60,000 for a bag of the new onion but a bag of dry onion that cost N28,000 and N30,000 before is now sold from N70,000 upwards as some traders are not selling it because it is beyond their budget.
PROVISIONAL ITEMS OR GROCERY
Irrespective of the happenings or seasons in the country and beyond, provisional items remains that item that is tops buyers list in markets across the country. This makes the items very high in demand and the cost of purchase not fixed as some are imported into the country and others manufactured herein Nigeria.
Before the pandemic, the cost of purchase of some provisional items increased due to border closure and the ban placed on importation of goods. At the beginning of the year 2020, some grocery items or provisional items became very expensive and scarce due to government policies of some countries regarding importation of goods to neighbouring countries and border closure in 2019.
From diary products to toiletries, spaghetti and noodles, sanitary pads, bath soap, wine, drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), detergent to mention but a few; are items whose prices in months before the pandemic and now, rises and fall.
For liquid milk, a dozen was sold from N1,300 and N1,500 upwards depending on the brand but during the pandemic and now, a dozen of liquid milk is sold from N2,000 upwards for powdered milk, a row of sachet milk is sold from N250 and N350 upwards but now, they are sold from N300 and N450 upwards.
For detergent, they are still sold at relatively low prices but for bath soaps, depending on the brand and the quality, they increased by over five percent.
Spaghetti, a pack or carton that cost N3,500, N4,000 and N4,500 upwards, increased to N6,000 and N7,000 upwards; depending on the brand, the quantity in the pack or carton and the market visited. Some traders sell below this price and some sell higher.
Depending on the type and the content of the carton, the cost price of frozen foods in the year 2020 was not fixed. As it increases and decreases a bit. This is because most of the items are imported. The cost price is influenced by a lot of factors surrounding the country importing it and the country exporting it.
For turkey, a carton was sold from N12,000 and N13,000 upwards, before the coronavirus pandemic but now, it has increased to N15,000 upwards. And now, a carton of turkey is sold from N20,000 upwards while a carton of chicken is sold from N15,000 upwards as against its old price of N11,000. A kilo of chicken is sold from N1,500 and a kilo of turkey is sold from N2,000.
For fish, a carton of croaker fish cost N25,000 and N26,000 now, but before, it is sold from N22,000 and N23,000 upwards. For Titus fish, we have the original one and we have the ordinary Titus fish is sold from N20,000 upwards while the ordinary one is sold from N16,000, N17,000 and N18,000 as against its old price of 18,000 for the original one and N14,000 for the ordinary one. For panla fish, a carton is sold from N6,000 and N7,000 upwards before, but now, a carton is sold from N8,000 and N10,000 upwards.
Fashion accessories vary. We have the branded ones and the ordinary ones. Fashion accessories became very expensive as soon as the border was shut in 2019 and the imported ones were beyond the reach of some Nigerians due to the present state of the economy, a seller at the market informed our correspondent.
Wristwatches of reputable brands and good quality increased by over three percent and some over five to ten percent before the pandemic. And now, they are still very expensive same with wears; female and male as well as kids wear. But a visit to major markets like Balogun and Idumota market, you can get these items at wholesale prices.
The wristwatches that cost N2,000 and N3,000 upwards before, have increased to N5,000 now while earrings that was sold from N200 upwards before, have increased to N350 upwards and N400 now. For necklace, they are sold from N1, 500 and N2,500 upwards as against their old price of N800 and N1,000. The cost price of fashion accessories are influenced by their design as well as their brand and the quality of material used.
For clothing materials, the less quality ones maintained their old price while the quality and branded fabrics are very expensive. The cost price of office wears and shoes have increased same with slippers (imported and local made).
Now, the cost price of office wear ranges from N5,000, N8,000, N10,000 and N15,000 upwards depending on the style and the material used but you can get affordable ones of N2,000 and N2,500 upwards at major markets where they sell wears in wholesale price.
Also, local made slippers that cost N2,000 and even N1,500 have increased to N3,000, N4,000 and N6,000 upwards while ladies slippers that cost N1,500 and N1,800 have increased to N2,000, N2,500 and N3,000 upwards.
Office shoes are also very expensive at the market now. For the female ones, they are sold from N3,000 and N4,000 upwards as against their old price of N2,000 and N2,500 while the men's shoes are sold from N10,000 upwards.
In addition, pant and bra, bags and beauty products like wigs, hair extensions and make-up items were expensive in the market during border closure and in the first quarter of the year. But now, they have increased further as they have become very expensive in the market despite border reopening.
It would be interesting to note that the cost price of goods differs from the cost of purchase. The cost of purchase is the amount in which the seller purchased the goods while the cost price is the amount in which the seller is offering to the buyer.
In some market within the country, the goods listed above are very affordable but here in Lagos market, they are expensive due to the economy, inflation, proximity, high cost of transportation, seasonal factors, middlemen and suppliers inflating the cost of purchase. Some goods when in season becomes affordable and available, increase in supply but when the goods are not in season or gradually going out of season, they become scarce, low in supply and very expensive.
The cost of purchase of the goods listed above varies on the market visited, the present-day market situation, the quantity of purchase and the decision of the seller.
In wake of security issues in the country, food prices fluctuates while the cost price of non-edible goods increase further despite border reopening. Although, the fight against COVID-19 is not over but traders and buyers at the market are sure of better days ahead in the coming year.
INTERVIEW: Why onion is now expensive in the market - trader via Legit TV