Prices of rice, beans, pepper, others jump, as “Ghana tomatoes” flood Lagos markets

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    New tomatoes, described as oval-shaped “Ghana tomatoes,” have flooded Lagos markets.

    Prices of household items maintained an upward trajectory in the month of August across Lagos markets, as Nigerians continue to grapple with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and seasonal fluctuations of major food items.

    According to the latest Household Market Survey carried out by Nairametrics Research, food items which include rice, beans pepper, palm oil, frozen turkey and garri (cassava flakes) all recorded significant price upsurges in the month of August 2020.

    In the latest report, a big bag of pepper jumped by 73.3% to sell for an average of N13,000, from N7,500 two weeks ago. Similarly, a 50kg bag of locally made rice that was initially sold for an average of N23,125 now sells for an average of N24,000, indicating an increase of 3.78%. A big bag of dry onions that was initially sold for an average of N30,000 now costs an average of N35,500, while a carton of turkey increased by 15.1% to sell for an average of N16,350.

    Meanwhile, new tomatoes, described as oval-shaped “Ghana tomatoes,” have flooded Lagos markets, thereby driving prices down. According to the latest survey, the average price of tomatoes eased off as a big basket of oval-shaped tomatoes recorded a 24.1% decline in price to sell for an average of N11,000.

    Details of items that recorded increases in their prices, items that recorded price declines, items that maintained the same prices, and key insights were included in the report.

    Items that witnessed price increase
    Some of the items that recorded significant price increase in the past two weeks include:
    • A 50kg bag of locally made rice (Mama’s Pride) that was initially sold for an average of N23,125 now sells for an average of N24,000 indicating an increase of 3.78%.
    • A big bag of pepper increased by 73.33% to sell for an average of N13,000 as against N7,500 recorded two weeks ago, while a medium-sized bag now sells for an average of N6,500 compared to an initial N4,500.
    • A big bag of brown beans now sells for an average of N30,375 compared to an initial average of N29,625.
    • A big bag of bush mango seeds (Ogbono), which was initially sold for an average of N95,000 now sells for N100,000, representing a 5.26% increase in two weeks.
    • A carton of frozen turkey increased by 15.14% to sell for an average of N16,350 from an initial average of N14,200 recorded two weeks ago.
    • A 50kg bag of Royal Stallion rice increased by 1.15% from an average of N29,000 to sell for an average of N29,333.
    • A big bag of dry onions, which sold for N30,000 two weeks ago now sells for an average of N35,000. This indicates an increase of 18.33% in two weeks.
    • A 50kg bag of Ijebu garri has increased by 5.61% to sell for an average of N14,125 compared to N13,375 recorded earlier in August.

    Items that recorded decrease in price
    • The price of a medium basket of round shaped tomatoes reduced by 17.65% to sell for an average of N7,000 compared to an initial average of N8,500.
    • A big basket of round shaped tomatoes now sells for an average of N11,000 as against N14,500 previously recorded.
    • Oval shaped tomatoes (big basket) sell for an average of N7,000 from an initial value of N12,000 indicating 41.67% reduction in price.
    • A big bag of melon seeds now sells for an average of N37,500, a reduction of 19.35% compared to an average of N46,500 recorded two weeks ago.
    • A 50kg bag of white beans reduced marginally by 1.17% to sell for an average of N31,625 as against N32,000 earlier recorded.
    • The price of a 25-litre gallon of palm oil reduced by 6.73% to sell for an average of N12,125 compared to an initial average of N13,000.
    • Also, a 5-litre gallon of palm oil currently sells for an average of N2,425, a 3.96% reduction in price compared to an initial average of N2,525.

    Items that maintained initial prices
    Household items that maintained their initial prices include yam, milk, cocoa beverages, and flour.
    • A big sized tuber of yam still continues to sell for an average of N900, while a medium-sized tuber sells for an average of N675.
    • A 50kg bag of brown beans (Oloyin) still sells for an average of N20,375.
    • A 400g tin of Peak Powdered milk continues to sell for an average of N1,200, while 900g still sells for an average of N2,363.
    • A bag (50kg) of Dangote flour sells for an average of N11,067, while Honeywell sells for N11,525.
    • 500g and 900g tins of Milo still sell for an average of N1,038 and N2,125 respectively.
    • A bag of yellow maize sells for an average of N19,667 while white maize also maintains an average of N19,000.
    • The prices of Kote and Titus fish continue to sell for N563 and 575 respectively.
    • The various sizes of noodles maintained their initial prices; 305g Indomie (N3,150), 210g Indomie (N3,200), 100g Chikki (N2,150).

    Special market/Items
    • New tomatoes, described as oval-shaped tomatoes imported from Ghana, were sighted also at Mile-12 and Mushin markets, selling for between N5,500 and N6,000.
    • A visit to Mushin market showed that customers prefer to buy the oval-shaped tomatoes from Mushin market compared to Mile-12 market. According to a trader at Mushin market, “A small basket of oval-shaped tomatoes sells within the range of N800 and N1,000 from which four of it, is equivalent to the basket sold at Mile-12 market for an average of N5,000, indicating a difference of at least N1,000.
    • Pepper sellers at Mile-12 market told Nairametrics’ research team that the price of pepper changes frequently depending on the time of the day. A big bag was sold for an average of N13,000 in the morning while later in the day it reduced to sell for as low as N9,000 depending on the negotiating power of the buyer.

    Market Insights
    • Despite the gradual easing of lockdown measures in the country, prices of major food items continue to be on a steady rise across most markets in Lagos State. For instance, a 50kg bag of Ijebu garri, which was sold for an average of N6,700 in March now sells for an average of N14,125. Also, A bag of white garri was sold for an average of N7,500 in March and now sells for an average of N12,375, while yellow garri now sells for an average of N12,000 as against N7,750 recorded in March.
    • New onions were sighted at Mile 12 market after months of scarcity in the various markets of Lagos State. The new influx, however, surfaced with an increase in price as a big bag now sells for an average of N26,000 compared to N20,000 recorded the last time.
    • Dry onions likewise increased by 18.33% from an initial average of N30,000 to sell for N35,500 as traders hinted that prices could go higher in the coming weeks. While speaking to a major onion trader at Mile-12 market, Mr. Musa, Nairametrics research learnt that although there is a high supply of the items in the market, the price increase is actually from the North where they are being transported from due to the season.

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