Rice Price Soars again as Inflation Report Shows Cheapest, Most Expensive Food Items

Rice Price Soars again as Inflation Report Shows Cheapest, Most Expensive Food Items

  • The price of rice has risen to a new high as the naira crashed against the US dollar in April and May 2024
  • Nigerians experienced a reprieve in April 2024 when the rice price crashed to as low as N62,000 per 50kg from N80,000
  • A recent survey shows that the current price for the commodity rose again in May above N80,000 per 50kg bag

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Legit.ng’s Pascal Oparada has reported on tech, energy, stocks, investment, and the economy for over a decade.

The price of rice has risen again after falling marginally in April 2024 to N72,000 per 50kg bag as the naira strengthened against the US dollar.

A previous report by Legit.ng revealed that the price of parboiled rice dropped for the first time this year in April, which relieved families and reduced living standards across the country.

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Rice price rises again
Dealers report an increase in the price of rice as the naira crashes Credit: Bloomberg/Contributor
Source: Getty Images

Food prices crash in April

A market survey across Lagos and significant cities shows that in four months, the price of a 50kg bag of rice has decreased by 20%, from an average of N90,000 to N72,000.

Experts have attributed the staple's price drop to the rise in the value of the naira against the US dollar.

Also, the average cost of 50kg of locally parboiled rice was reduced by 11.7% from N77,000 to N68,000 in the same period due to the reopening of the Nigeria-Niger land border.

Naira depreciation causes another spike

However, following the naira crash against the dollar in April and early May, rice prices have skyrocketed above N80,000 per 50kg bag.

Sellers reported difficulty in sourcing the commodity despite the reopening of land borders between Nigeria and the Niger Republic.

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According to them, sourcing the product in the open market is challenging, especially as Nigeria Customs embarks on period raids in markets across the country.

Stanley Ikenna, a seller in the Ogba area of Ikeja, said the price rose again because they find it challenging to buy the product in the open market.

“Everything is hinged on the dollar because most of the products are imported. We began to witness an increase in the product again in early May as a report emerged that the dollar has risen again,” he said.

Food inflation soars in April 2024

In the April inflation report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), food inflation reached 40.53% yearly.

The rise in food inflation is attributed to the increase in the prices of other items such as flour, garlic, bread, prepacked wheat flour, and semolina.

Food items, such as yam tubers, water yams, and cocoyams, also contributed to high food inflation during the review period.

Read also

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At the end of April 2024, the average annual food inflation rate stood at 32.74%, representing 9.52 percentage points over the 23.22% average annual rate recorded in April 2024.

Thailand moves to auction off 10-year-old rice

Legit.ng earlier reported that there were palpable fears over the possibility of 10-year-old Thai rice finding its way into Nigeria as the country grappled with the high cost of the commodity.

Thailand reportedly planned to auction off about 150,000 sacks of rice kept in warehouses for about 10 years, expecting to generate between $5.4 and $10.8 million from the sale.

The move generated a buzz among citizens and food safety experts, who fear the health conditions of the rice.

Proofread by Kola Muhammed, a journalist and copyeditor at Legit.ng

Source: Legit.ng

Pascal Oparada avatar

Pascal Oparada (Business editor) Pascal Oparada is a Mass Communications Graduate from Yaba College of Technology with over 10 years of experience in journalism. He has worked in reputable media organizations such as Daily Independent, TheNiche newspaper, and the Nigerian Xpress. He is a 2018 PwC Media Excellence Award winner. Email:pascal.oparada@corp.legit.ng

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