Inflation: Lagos foodstuff traders decry price instability

“When tomatoes becomes affordable, pepper becomes more expensive, a small bag of pepper now sells between N35,000 to N41,000.

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Inflation, Lagos, foodstuff, traders decry price instabilitySome foodstuff traders in Lagos State have decried the instability of produce prices as well as the continued inflation in the country.

The traders made their complaints in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lagos.

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Mr John Nwabueze, a food stuff trader at Agege Market, said the unpredictability of food prices had limited the trade as they could no longer take large stock.

“The prices of most food stuff items are currently unstable; we cannot even predict the prices anymore.

“The prices are volatile and we can no longer stock as we use to, or we may run at a loss.

“The price of rice has started rising again; a 50kg bag of short grain rice now sells for as high as N80, 000 and above; last week, it was sold for N76, 000 to N77, 000.

“50kg long grain rice sells at N90, 000 per bag and we do not know the reasons for the hike in the price because it sold for N88, 000 last week.

“A 100kg bag of beans sells at N144, 000 and a 50kg bag sells for N72, 000; we used to buy the 100kg for N154, 000 to N155,000, but it has dropped now.

“Garri is still very expensive as paint bucket now sells for N3000 as against N900 to N1000 before; a bag of garri now sells for N45,000 as against N23,000 before the hike,” Nwabueze said.

On her part, Mrs Judith Amen, a foodstuff trader at Mile 12 market Lagos, said the “ups and downs in the price of produce have made most traders wary of the trade.

“We do not even understand the situation; the price of foodstuff has been fluctuating for a while now.

“Currently the price of a 50kg bag of short grain rice sells for N82, 000 while long grain rice sells between N88,000 to N90,000 per bag.

“A week before now a bag of long grain rice sold for N78,000 , so the hike this week is unprecedented.

“A bag of 100kg beans sells for N140,000 as against N120,000 we bought two weeks again.

“A 25kg gallon of refill groundnut oil sells for N45,000 while the sealed gallon sells at N55,000 per gallon,” Amen said.

According to her, the price of tomatoes is also fluctuating because last week we bought for as high as N35, 000 per basket; but as at this week, it is N22, 000 per basket which means the price is unpredictable.

“When tomatoes becomes affordable, pepper becomes more expensive, a small bag of pepper now sells between N35,000 to N41,000.

“The prices of sweet and Irish potatoes are on the high side; a bag of sweet potatoes is N47,000 as against N12,000 to N18,000 we used to buy it

“A bag of Irish potatoes now sells above N90,000; while a bag of onions sells between N43,000 and N45,000 because of its current unavailability in the market,” she said.

Another trader, Mrs Modinat Yusuf, Oja Oba market at Alimosho, lamented the scarcity of some basic food items, as well as the continuous hike in the price.

“A kilogramme of Semolina now sells for as high as N1500 as against N800, a sachet of knoor cubes sells for as N1300 as against N700.

“The smallest sachet of salt sells for N200 as against N50 before the hike.

“A cartoon of spaghetti now sells for 17,000 as against N8000 to N10, 000; we just buy the little we can ensure we sell as soon as possible as the prices are unpredictable,” Yusuf said.