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Business News of Monday, 23 November 2020


As the demand for dollar rises, price of rice drops in Lagos market

File photo: Rice product in the market File photo: Rice product in the market

Buyers and traders are counting down to yuletide which is weeks from now and one major good that is often in high demand during Christmas is rice.

This period, whilst most goods are very expensive according to sellers, rice dealers revealed there’s been a reduction in the cost price of imported rice and stability in the cost price of local rice.

At the market, traders inform of a reasonable level of supply of some goods adding that the seasons influence their cost price and supply by distributors and manufacturers; but to their amazement, the protest is over, normalcy is gradually returning to the state yet, the presence of buyers’ is minimal which sure affects market activities thereby making the environment very dull for businesses to thrive.

In view of the above assertion, had a chat with some traders’ especially rice sellers’ and they informed of the different type of rice available in the market, supply level and their cost price as well as reasons why they are expensive or affordable.

A young trader at the market revealed to our correspondent the different types of rice available in the market this period.

“We have different types of rice; we have foreign rice and local rice. They both fall in various categories and their demands vary. Some are expensive and some are sold at reasonable prices.

“Basically, most goods that are imported or sold to us by neighbouring countries are more affordable than the ones produced within the country; as the local goods are more expensive. But whatever goods supplied to us, such are what we end up selling.

“The foreign rice is really difficult to get due to the border closure but the major ones that are supplied to us here in the market are the Thailand rice, the Indian rice and caprice. For local rice, we have the ofada rice, dolly rice, best choice rice, umza rice and more.

“They are made here in Nigeria yet they are sold to us at an exorbitant rate. Buyers are wondering why rice that is made in Nigeria is sold to Nigerians at exorbitant rates, the reason is not far-fetched but we are pleading with the government to please see to the reduction in the cost price of local rice,” A young trader who sells rice and other goods at the market told

Another trader at the market said there has been a recent change in the cost price of foreign rice in the market. The trader, who talked more about the changes, stated that foreign rice has become a bit affordable in the market but buyers’ are short of cash in hand now.

According to him, the prices of some goods have dropped now but the economy has affected the purchasing power of buyers so far.

He said: “Days after the protest, the supply of rice increased especially imported ones even as some suppliers come to shops in the market to start asking from traders’ if they are interested in purchasing goods from them because there is enough in circulation.

“This brought about the reduction in the cost price of foreign rice and stability in local rice. For foreign rice, we have the agric and we have the aroso rice. A bag of agric rice is sold from N25,000 while a bag of aroso rice is sold from N28,000. A bag of foreign rice that cost N30,000 and even N35,000 before, have dropped to N28,000 and below.

“A bag of ofada rice is sold from over N40,000 upwards and the paint from N3,000 upwards due to the high cost of its production in a neighbouring state here in Nigeria. A bag of best choice rice cost N24,000 and a bag of dolly rice cost N24,000 while a bag of umza rice cost N24,000 as well. A bag of tomato rice cost N23,000 while a bag of big bull rice cost N24,500. A bag of super king rice cost N23,000 and N22,000 respectively.

“We still do not make good sales despite the reduction in the cost price of rice because most people have lost their source of income and some are still in shock due to the economy and the pandemic. Now, buyers complain of low cash in hand and they only purchase goods according to their financial will-power.”

A rice dealer who sells more of local rice to foreign rice stated that so far, nothing influenced the cost price of rice but that in recent times, the cost price of beans is increasing due to seasonal factor and the economy.

She stated thus: “Some sellers’ repackaged the local rice and give a name of their choice after purchasing from farmers to resell in the market at good prices and there are some of the local rice that taste exactly like the foreign rice and are de-stone too. Such are very expensive and beyond the reach of most buyers.

“For some time, nothing has happened to the cost price of rice especially the local ones; their cost price remains the same only the foreign ones experienced a fluctuation in its cost price due to the border closure and the pandemic.

“For now, beans are becoming very expensive. During the dry season, the cost price of beans is usually very high as farmers plant during this period which makes suppliers and other farmers to sell off the ones that are stored in their warehouses; making it a bit scarce and expensive.

“A bag of beans olotu or drum cost N39,000 while a bag of beans oloyin is sold from N22,000 upwards. A bag of white beans cost N42,000 and this is because the content in the bag is bigger. A bag of white garri cost N14,000 and a bag of yellow garri cost N14,500.

“The aftermath of the protests is really disturbing as some traders’ are still scared of coming to their stalls and shops, same with buyers to carry on with their businesses. This has affected sales to an extent as sales have been a crippling one but we are hopeful of better sales ahead of the Christmas celebrations.”

Similarly, a trader who sells foodstuff items in the market disclosed that traffic congestion, as well as the high cost of transportation, affected not only the carriage of goods but also the buyers.

“Right now, the new production of some goods would soon be out in the market making the old produce expensive as their supply is very low and the demand high but when the new ones are out in the market, they would become very affordable and much more available. Goods like egusi, the new ones would be out in no time and there’s a twist to the cost price of egusi; as the bag is sold from N38,000 upwards rather than N55,000 upwards but the bag of ogbono is sold from N100,000 upwards.

“Some goods are affordable in the market but the problem is not just the pandemic but its effect on the economy leading to the increment in the cost of carriage and the cost of transportation; most of our loyal customers who come from far places are unable to come around this period as they are tired of the high cost of transportation as well as the high cost of carriage of the goods purchased. It is not easy as they pay double transportation fare on the goods that are purchased in the market.

“Another issue is traffic on major roads in the state; this affects everyone, the traders and buyers. For some time now, some sellers affected by this issue do not make good sales as they come late to the market and start the day’s sales. It is a serious issue and will affect us in a long while due to the construction going on in some market and on some major roads in the state,” The foodstuff dealer informed.

Interestingly, tomato and onion are still very expensive while pepper is affordable. Their cost price is determined by the weather condition, the economy as well as the security issues in some neighbouring state. The tomatoes on display in the market now are the watery ones as they are sold from N100 upwards, and some sell smashed ones from N50 but pepper is cheap and onion very expensive.

In another development, fruits that are in season in the market are quite affordable. A fruit seller at the market told our correspondent that the supply of seasonal fruit is high but the patronage is very low.

“As it is in the market now, some fruit sellers’ are lamenting over the purchasing power of buyers which is affecting the pace of their business. The supplies of seasonal fruits are high and encouraging but the problem now is to sell the goods off and purchase fresh ones. No sales no money is now the order of the day.

“We have a good supply of fruits like tangerine, garden egg, banana, cucumber, oranges, pawpaw and watermelon. These fruits are in season hence their cost price is low and their supply very high but others that are gradually out of season are still very expensive and some are scarce.

“Market is very dry and at the same time dull. Buyers are not buying well but we still need to come out here so we can be able to fend for our family. Goods are affordable but no money to buy it; this is what we keep hearing from buyers daily.

“For fruit sellers, if we do not sell our goods on time, we would end up in loss due to insufficient storage system. We cannot store them for long as they would get bad easily. So, what we do now is to take our goods out and resell to buyers in large quantity making sure they are sold at reasonable prices that would favour both the buyers and we the sellers,” A fruit seller stated.

Meanwhile, the prices of some goods have dropped and others fluctuate further as buyers are hopeful of stability in prices of those goods ahead of the festive period. Goods like sweet potato are affordable while yam is still very expensive.

As the government continues with its fight against COVID-19, health experts urge everyone to make a conscious effort daily by adhering strictly to the preventive measures and with the grappling economy in focus; businessmen and women are seeking for better ways to get back on track following the effects of coronavirus pandemic and the EndSars protest in the country.