- As insecurity continues to cripple business activities in the country, beans have become the new gold in markets across the state
- In recent times, food prices rises drastically and this is evident in the quantity of some goods being displayed and in the measurement of others at the market
- This week, Legit.ng visited mile-12 international market to sought the views of traders on the rising cost price of some goods and how it influences buyers’ decision
Lagos state- Following the inflation rate in the country in recent months, occasioned by the pandemic and worsened by insecurity, the present increment in the cost price of beans has become worrisome for both traders and the buyers in the state.
In Lagos state, some major markets which offer great prices to buyers daily, are not left out this period as they tend to suffer major blow in food availability as well as supply resulting to hike in the prices of goods they offer for sale.
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At the market this week, there is hike in the cost price of goods. Some are increasing daily and others maintain stability in prices. Surprisingly, there’s a reduction in the cost price of garri, an item that was very expensive in previous market.
This week, Legit.ng visited a poplar Lagos market to find out from traders the recent cost price of goods and how its influencing the purchasing power of buyers.
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While the country keeps battling insurgency, traders are concerned with reasonable cost of purchase of goods and buyers on the other hand are hopeful of better living with enough resources to sustain it.
A food items dealer at the market, explain to Legit.ng the recent cost price of rice, beans and garri and how sales level affects their profitability.
Oga Danko, as he is fondly called said:
“Food items this week is confusing because some are very expensive and others are just there, maintaining their old prices. The ones that are expensive before are a bit affordable now while as others are still very expensive.
“There is stability in the cost price of rice. A bag of local rice still sells from N24,000 and a bag of foreign rice sells from N27,000. For garri, the cost of purchase dropped this week. A bag of garri, now sells from N14,000 and N14,500 upwards as against its old price of N16,000 and N17,000 upwards.
“For beans, it is the new gold in the market now o. suppliers and distributors are lamenting even as we, the traders are praying to get the produce at good prices. A bag of beans sells from N80,000 and N85,000 upwards. Beans is very expensive and buyers are not comfortable with the increase."
Another trader whose been hit by the increment in the cost price of beans stated that he resolved to selling other goods and purchase beans and resell in small quantity.
The retailer said:
“I purchase beans in few quantities now because I don’t have the cash to purchase at exorbitant prices now. I sell more of rice and garri. One major problem I’m facing is preference. When my customers come, they get disappointed in the fact that I don’t have the type they want, they leave and go elsewhere. This is what I’m facing in recent times as I sell more of oloyin beans than the other type, and business cannot thrive with just a particular item. One needs to sell varieties. Business this period is dull and not moving at all and it’s been like this in a long while.”
For perishable goods that are imported into the country like turkey, frozen chicken, the foreign exchange rate influences their cost of purchase while for local goods like tomatoes, pepper and onion, seasonal factors determine their availability and supply level in the market.
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A trader who sells frozen foods in the market lament over low purchasing powers of buyers in recent times. She noted that the buyers opt for live chicken rather than frozen ones.
Madam Moji noted;
“The increment in the cost price of chicken and turkey has led to sales in recent times. In fact, for fish, buyers are lamenting daily due to the rising cost price of Titus fish and croaker fish. So, most traders opt for smoked fish, dry fish and panla fish.
“Also, some who cannot manage the reduction in the quantity of measurement of turkey and chicken, they purchase the live chicken, slaughter it and take it home. For them, it is more in quantity than the turkey or chicken measured with scale,"
Madam Moji noted.
For a trader who sells tomato in the market, survival this period has been tough as she contends with the high cost of perishables and poor sales.
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“There is a big drop in the purchasing power of buyers lately. They are not buying as expected; and with the nature of our goods, if you don’t sell on time, you run into a loss as they get bad and rotten quickly except when its well preserved. Pepper and onion are expensive but they are still affordable compare to tomatoes.
“Selling and at the same time combining home duties in Lagos now is difficult. Cost of living is high and the level of patronage is dropping daily. If we don’t get to make good sales, how then are we as traders going to survive these hard times? Buyers are buying and profit is not encouraging.
“Considering the different types of tomatoes, we have; their cost price varies. A basket sells from N8,000 now and others from N10,000, N12,000, N15,000 upwards, depending on the size of the basket and the tomato you are buying. The watery tomatoes are sold from N100 and N200 upwards and the other type that is very expensive, the Jos, Benue and Cameroon tomato are sold from N500. Their price still stands from previous month till now,”
Mama Kafayat, told our correspondent.
As crime rate rises further in some part of the country, some goods that are transported into the market from neighbouring states are also very expensive.
Following this development, suppliers and distributors tend to inflate the cost of purchase of the items and traders on their part increase the cost price of the items. This according to traders is a worrisome issue that affects food prices in the market.
A foodstuff dealer at the market, informed of the stability of foodstuff items and the reduction in the cost price of others.
Mr Obidi, stated that the buyers must buy foodstuff as they have no option than to feed.
He opined thus:
“There is stability in the cost price of foodstuff items now especially ogbono and crayfish but egusi is a bit expensive.
“Presently, a bag of ogbono cost N120,000 and a bag of egusi cost N65,000 and N70,000 upwards as new egusi would be out in the market soon. A measurement of crayfish cost N12,000 as against its old price of N14,000 and N15,000 upwards. A big bag of pepper cost N45,000 upwards and a medium size bag of dry pepper cost N30,000.
“Buyers will definitely buy but the only issue is that their quantity of purchase is low. The ones that purchase paint bucket ends up purchasing derica while the ones that purchase half bag ends up purchasing quarter.
“It is difficult as it is not something that gives us joy as traders, when some buyers lament, you will even shed tears on their behalf. The issue is; the buyers love to buy the items but the cash is not enough.”
Meanwhile, at the same market, yam lovers will have a breath of fresh air as there is availability of new yam in the market due to the seasonal factors.
It’s rainy season, there are goods that are affordable due to the season and some are scarce too. This period, new yam is available and very affordable depending on the size and the market visited.
This week at the market, new yam is seen on display by yam sellers and they are given out at reasonable prices.
Despite the affordability of the item, yam sellers decry low purchasing power. Revealing most buyers prefer the dry yam to the new yam, this period. A yam seller told Legit.ng that:
“New yam is available in large quantity in the market now and very affordable but buyers are not buying well. Most don’t like the taste of the yam and others are not buying at all. what they go for is sweet potato and plantain, they are giving the yam some time, to be very strong for consumption as they inform that some of the yam, the ones that are very affordable are king of too for and after boiling it, does not have good taste,”
Similarly, a buyer at the market said, she would prefer to purchase food items rather than provisional items as they cost more.
A buyer who pleaded anonymity, stated:
“If you want to prepare tea in the home, you spend money to get bread, milk and beverage. By the time you sum these items up, you found out you are spending much more than you bargain for and after taking the tea, you feel hungry. Provisional items are very expensive in the market now. This is why I decide to come to the market, purchase food items and prepare good food for my family.
“Demand is high and consumer are not willing to pay more for the items in the market now as some lack enough resources and others are managing. This is the situation we are faced with in the country now."
Following the fluctuation in the foreign exchange rate, and the rise and fall of some goods in the market, traders are optimistic for the next level the Buhari-Osinbajo led administration had promised while buyers on the other hand, hope for a miracle as the times are indeed tough.