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Prices of food items drop at major markets



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Nigerians may be in for a pleasant Christmas as prices of staple items such as rice, beans, yam and garri fell the most in the months of October and November 2017.

Latest food price survey reveals that staple food items such as yam, rice, plantain recorded significant price reductions as we approach the   Christmas season.

Our food basket for the week ended December 2 2017, recorded a 0.34% price drop compared to the week ended 18 November 2017.

This also corroborates the nationwide data on food prices by the National Bureau of Statistics, which reports similar price declines. The NBS data for Lagos revealed food prices 1.24% between October and November 2017.

For example, a 5kg bag of Ofada rice which sold for about N2,900 in the week ended October 21, 2017. We went back to Ago Ishaga market two weeks later and discovered that the price had dropped by 24% to N2, 200. A further price check on December 2 confirms the price is yet to change.

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Another example is garri, a major staple food for Lagosians. An 80kg bag of Ijebu garri which sold for N18, 500 in October now retails for about N11, 000 as at December 2, 2017. In June 2017, it went for as high as N32, 000. White and yellow garri prices also recorded significant price drops.

Prices crashed for most items in the month of November when compared to October, particularly in Lagos. Sweet potato was recorded to have dropped by as much as 31% while yam tubers dropped by 18.7%.

Catfish, one of Nigeria’s favourite sea food, also recorded a price drop of about 16.8%. In total, of the 44 food items in the list of the NBS, 34 recorded month on month drops.

The NBS did not reveal any reason for the drop-in food prices on the national and state levels, however, our research indicated that it is connected to the harvest season.

The rains were much better this year compared to last thus having a positive effect on yields. A stable exchange rate and fuel price have also aided price stability across the agriculture value chain.