In the last few weeks, prices of wheat value chain products have increased significantly in the market.
Wheat is a major crop used for products like bread, spaghetti, noodles, macaroni and many others. The price of a medium loaf of bread has risen from N450 to N750 in the last couple of weeks for some popular brands.
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The Russian-Ukraine war which started four weeks ago has affected supply to most African countries that rely on wheat from Russia and Ukraine. This is in addition to weak domestic production structure to support local farmers.
In Nigeria, the closure of the Hadejia Jama’are dam hampered the farming of wheat in places like Kano and Jigawa states, which are major producers.
The price of wheat by this time last year was between N25,000 and N26,000 while this year, the price rose from last week’s N36,000 to N37,000 per 100kg in places like Kano. Although, the prices might slightly or significantly vary from market to market and state to state, the demand for the product has increased significantly.
Our correspondents across the country went round some of the markets to survey the prices of common goods which have wheat as major ingredient.
Our correspondent who visited the largest commodity market in Kano revealed that prices of wheat related products have soared compared to last year and some weeks ago.
“You know diesel issues also affected this year’s prices. For Spaghetti, last year it was between N3,700 and N3,800 and for this year it is N5,050 per pack which comprises 20 pieces. But last week, it was around N4,900. Macaroni too used to be N3,200 last year but now is sold at N4, 800. Noodles was N2, 900 to N3, 000 last year but this year it is N4, 050 to N4, 200, likewise flour; though it didn’t experience much changes but it was around N16,000 to N18,000 last year but today it is N20,100 to N20,200,” one of the dealers in the market, Kabiru Nasir, said.
With the fasting (Ramadan) period approaching, the dealer said there may not necessarily be increase in the prices, unless the goods are scarce in the market.
In Kaduna, our correspondent reported that wheat is sold at N30,000 per 100kg depending on the quality of the grain. However, the cost of flour is getting much similar to what is obtained in Kano. 50kg bag flour goes for N20,500, spaghetti N6,500 per carton containing 20 pieces, while, noodles sells for N3,100.
In Ogun State, findings revealed that a carton of Indomitable Noodles which was N2,700, now sells for N3,000 at wholesale price.
At the retail outlets, it sells for between N3,100 and N3,200. Findings also showed that a carton of spaghetti has moved from N6,500 to about N7,000. A 50kg bag of flour which was N20,000 in January, is now N22,000.
Speaking with Daily Trust on Sunday, a trader at Oke Ilewo, Abeokuta, Mrs. Yinka Oyebola, described the price increase as alarming. She said “It (price) increases steadily. Every three days, sale reps would notify us of price increase. We are lamenting as sellers. We are borrowing so much to add to the business.”
According to investigations from our correspondent, wheat is still on sale in markets in Akwa Ibom State but the prices too have gone up.
Findings from a visit to Etuk Street market in Uyo reveal that they are available though not in large quantity.
Investigations show that a 10kg bag of wheat sells for N10,000, 5kg for N5,000, 2kg for N1,200 or N1,000 and 1kg for N600, while a 50kg bag of flour sells for N21,000.
Further findings show that a cartoon of 120kg and 100kg Indomie noodles cost N5,000 and N4,500 respectively, while the small carton costs N3,100.
A carton of small Mimee noodles costs N2,500, while a packet of spaghetti sells for N350.
In Abuja, our reporter who went round some markets said the changing prices of wheat products like bread have left households in the city struggling to meet their basic needs.
With the hike in prices of foodstuffs, most families have continued to groan. They say it is becoming very difficult to feed, much less attend to other family demands.
Our reporter visited the Kubwa Village Market on Tuesday and observed that prices of popular food items have gone up compared to last week.
“Last week, a bag of 10kg wheat we sold for N4,500 is now being sold for N4,800. A bag of 10kg Semovita was N5,200 last week, but now N5,550. A carton of super pack Indomie is now N5,000. A carton of indomitable noodles now costs N3,100 while a carton of Supreme noodles costs N4,800. A carton of Spaghetti costs N6,600 now. A carton of Macaroni costs N6,400, but last week we sold around N6,000,” a trader who simply gave his name as IB said.
There are many brands of flour in the market, a popular brand like Golden Penny now sells for N22,000 as against the N21,000 sold few weeks ago.
A resident of Kubwa, Ada Chigozie, said in the past, her family could budget N50,000 for feeding for a month, but now it can’t take them comfortably for two weeks.
Another resident of Kubwa, Johnson Taiwo, lamented that the high cost of food was seriously affecting family budgets. He said salaries were still the same, but market prices increase by the day, making life unbearable for many people.
By Vincent A. Yusuf & Seun Adeuyi (Abuja), Lami Sadiq (Kaduna), Zahraddeen Yakubu Shuaibu (Kano), Peter Moses (Abeokuta) & Iniabasi Umo (Uyo)