Traders blame forex scarcity as price cooking gas, others surge

People buy and sell food at the Illaje market, in Bariga, Lagos, on June 29, 2021. - Since the start of the pandemic in 2019, food prices have risen by an average of more than 22%, according to official statistics, and feeding a family properly has become a daily challenge. (Photo by Benson Ibeabuchi / AFP)
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Food traders in Lagos State have continued to blame the recent hike in food prices on the scarcity of forex and volatility of the exchange rate as prices of cooking gas and other items surged significantly.

According to a report, a 50kg bag of foreign-made rice surged by as much as 15.7% to sell for an average of N28,750, while it sold for as high as N30,000 at Mushin and Mile 12 markets. In the same vein, locally made rice also increased in price to sell for an average of N24,000 across the four markets in Lagos.

Similarly, the price of beans, noodles, pasta, vegetable oil, onions, and melon continue to record significant increases. On the other hand, the price of pepper and tomatoes crashed in September compared to the previous month.

The National Bureau of Statistics had recently released the inflation figures for the month of August 2021, where the composite food index rose by 20.3% year-on-year, representing a decline compared to 21.03% increase recorded in the previous month.

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According to the NBS report, the rise in the food index was caused by increases recorded in prices of Bread and cereals, Milk, cheese and egg, Oils and fats, Potatoes, yam and other tubers, Meat and Coffee, tea and cocoa.

Specific attention to the inflation rate for Lagos State shows that the food index for the economic centre of the country rose by 20.3% in August 2021 compared to the corresponding period of 2020.

According to the recent food price report released by the National Bureau of Statistics, the price of brown beans increased by 24.88% month-on-month in August 2021 compared to the previous month, while white beans increased by 26.53% in the same period.

In the same vein, the price of agric rice rose by 5.65% in the review period, while local rice recorded a 5.05% month-on-month increase in price.

The price of a bottle of palm oil also increased as it rose by 2.61% to sell for an average of N831.11 in Lagos State.

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