As Nigerians prepare for the total shutdown of major markets in Lagos State due to the rapid spread of the pandemic (COVID-19), the latest household survey conducted by Nairametrics Research Team revealed that smuggled foreign rice has hit major market in the state.
According to the latest household survey, despite the closure of the country’s land borders, the past few weeks have been characterized with rise in the smuggling of foreign rice.
The research team found that various brand of foreign rice is being smuggled into the country, as traders disguise them in local bags to beat government tracking systems.
Meanwhile, the household survey showed that major food items reduced significantly across major markets visited last week as prices of tomatoes, pepper, Onions and Maize recorded significant drop. Specifically, a big bag of New Onions currently sells for an average of N11,000 compared to N25,000 recorded two weeks ago while Dry Onions sells for N13,000 from an initial average of N30,000.
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On the other hand, some items such as Yam, Garri and Crayfish recorded increase in prices. For instance, the price of a big tuber sized yam rose from N875 recorded earlier in the month to sell for an average of N1,375.
This survey report highlights items that witnessed reduction in price, items that witnessed increase in price, items that maintained initial prices, Special markets and Market insights.
A 25 Litres gallon of local vegetable oil currently sells for an average of N12,575 from an initial average of N12,925. This indicates a 2.71% increase in two weeks.
The price of a 5 litres gallon of local vegetable oil also reduced by 2.22% to sell for an average of N2,200 from an initial average of N2,250.
A big basket of round shaped tomatoes reduced significantly to sell for an average of N5,500. It reduced by 26.67% from an initial average of N7,500 recorded earlier in March.
While a medium sized basket of round shaped tomatoes currently sells for N3,200 compared to N3,500 recorded two weeks ago.
A big bag of pepper currently sells for an average of N7,000. A 6.67% reduction compared to N7,500 recorded earlier in the month, while a medium bag that was sold for an average of N5,500 now sells for N5,000.
Maize also witnessed reduction in price, as both yellow and white type of the commodity sell for an average of N13,000 compared to initial averages of N17,500 and N16,000 respectively.
A bag of melon that was sold for an average of N49,000 two weeks ago, now sells for an average of N41,000 indicating a 16.33% decrease in price.
The price of a big bag of Dry Onions reduced by more than half, as it currently sells for an average of N13,000 compared to an initial average of N30,000.
Items that witnessed increase in price
Some major items that recorded significant increase in price over the past two weeks include Yam, Garri and Crayfish.
The price of a big tuber of Yam surged to sell for an average of N1,375 from an initial average of N875, indicating 57.14% increase in two weeks.
Also, a medium-sized tuber of yam sells for an average of N738, 15.69% increase compared to N638 recorded earlier in March.
A big bag of white of Garri currently sells for an average of N7,500 compared to an initial N6,500. This indicates a 15.38% increase in price.
A bag (nylon) of Crayfish is currently sold for an average of N15,500 compared to an initial price of N12,000.
Items that maintained initial price
Household food items that maintained initial prices within the last weeks include locally made rice, Beans, Noodles, Potatoes, locally made palm oil, bag of Flour, Beverages, Bread, cooking gas, Egg and Sugar.
A bag of brown beans (Oloyin) still sells for an average of N12,500, as white beans maintain its initial price of N18,250.
Dangote Flour and Honeywell Flour continue to sell for an average of N11,100 and N11,200 respectively, same as recorded two weeks ago.
The biggest basket of Irish Potatoes still sells for an average of N17,000 as a small-sized basket maintains an average of N1,800.
Sweet Potatoes also remain at its initial price reported earlier in March at N6,000 (Big basket), N1,000 (small basket) and N200 (smallest basket).
A crate of eggs sells for an average of N975; the price of Cway Bottled water also remained at an average of N613.
Household cooking gas is still being refilled for the same price as recorded two weeks ago: 12.5kg (N4,000) and 5kg (1,725).
Special Items / Markets
The price of tomatoes dropped by 26.67% from N7,500 recorded two weeks ago to N5,500.
A basket of tomatoes in the market varied in price according to the quality. Some traders sold a big basket of round shaped tomatoes for N5,500, N4,000 while others were sold for an average of N3,200.
A visit to the Onion section of Mile 12 market revealed a large influx of the commodity sighted in the market. According to major traders interviewed, the high stock of onions pressured the crash in price.
A nylon bag of Crayfish that was initially sold for an average of N12,000 earlier in the year as surged significantly to an average of N15,500.
Local rice (Umza) which was initially sold for an average N19,500 now sells for N17,000. Super King rice sells for an average of N16,500, JGW (Jigawa rice) also sells for an average of N17,000.
As Nigerians brace for the shutdown of major markets due to the rapid spread of COVID-19, Niaratemtrics Research Team found that prices of major food items are witnessing sudden increase in prices as demand record significant surge.
On smuggling, according to a major rice dealer at Daleko market, “some traders smuggling foreign rice into Nigeria and rebranding them into local bags so as not to escape government sanctions”. The rice dealer who pleaded to remain anonymous, told Nairametrics research that despite the closure of borders, recently, some major traders are now smuggling the item into the market disguised as local goods.”
Speaking further, he disclosed that local rice production has flooded Lagos markets, and this is a good development, but the quality of the product is still below par due to stones and dirt. He however, pleaded with the government to help block the channels where foreign brands of rice are still being smuggled into the country.
Bush mango seed (Ogbono) is now sold in two types across major markets in Lagos. This was disclosed by a trader at Oyingbo market.“we have two types of Ogbono seed now, Old one which is sold for an average of N55,000 and new ones being sold for an average of N85,000”, she said.
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About Nairametrics Food Price Survey
The Nairametrics Food Price Watch is a bi-weekly household market survey that covers the prices of major food items, with emphasis on five major markets in Lagos – Mushin Market, Daleko Market, Oyingbo Market, Idi-Oro Market and Mile 12