Ebonyi, Abia lead as food prices jump by 31%, says NBS

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  • Stock market sheds 0.31% as oil price hits $97pb

BY FESTUS OKOROMADU, ABUJA

The National Bureau of Statistics has said in its monthly report that Ebonyi and Abia states led as food prices jumped by 31 per cent within 12 months from July 2022 to July 2023.

The selected food items include staples such as rice(1kg), beans(1kg), bread (500g), tomatoes, beef, wheat (2kg), garri (1kg) and palm oil (1 bottle).

According to the report, the highest food price increase was recorded in the price of yam, which jumped by 42 per cent, from N389.75 in July 2022 20 N539.41 in 2023.

This was closely followed by the price of one kilogram of rice, which increased from N467.80 to N653.49 within 12 months.

In the same vein, the price of palm oil went up by 35 per cent, from N890.67 to N1208.62 during the period in review.

Other staple foods which contributed to the food price hike included Garri (1kg), which increased by 33 per cent, from N323.17 to N429.89. 500g of sliced bread also increased from N486.27 to N651.78 (+34 per cent).

A kilogram of tomato (N446.81 to N557.96), Wheat (2kg) (N1094.72 to N1419.14), and Beef (N2118.84 to N2758.13), also accounted for some of the staple food items which recorded significant price spikes.

Further analysis of the report showed that South-Eastern states, led by Abia and Ebonyi recorded the highest food prices during the twelve-month period.

On the other hand, states within the North Central (Kogi, Niger, Benue) recorded the lowest food prices during this time.

In its latest Consumer Price Index, a report which measures inflation, the NBS had said food inflation rate in August, which was 29.34 per cent, was the primary factor which pushed headline inflation from 24.08 in July to 25.80 in August.

The NBS said, “The rise in food inflation on a year-on-year basis was caused by increases in prices of oil and fat, bread and cereals, fish, fruit, meat, vegetables and potatoes, yam and other tubers, vegetable, milk, cheese and eggs.”

Meanwhile, activity on the Nigerian local bourse closed on a bearish trend on Thursday as the benchmark index (NGX All-Share Index) fell by 0.31 percent to settle at 66,448.63 points putting the index on track for a third successive weekly loss.

The continued decline in banking stocks of GTCO, down by 0.72 percent, ACCESSCORP lost 0.32 percent and FBNH, declined by 0.31 percent were the drivers of the market’s weak performance.

As a result, the ASI’s year-to-date return decreased to 29.65 percent, while the market capitalization shed ₦111.40 billion to close at ₦36.37 trillion.

Analysis of the market activities showed trade turnover settled lower relative to the previous session, with the value of transactions down by 24.67 percent.

A total of 273.80 million shares valued at 3.41 billion were exchanged in 6,826 deals. ACCESSCORP led the volume and value charts with 45.88 million units traded in deals worth ₦710.63 million.

Meanwhile crude oil price hit its highest since November 2022 on Thursday as Brent crude surged to $97.24 per barrel.

Market analysts said the substantial price increase was propelled by an upswing in demand and a noticeable reduction in the crude oil supply.

This is coming ahead of the upcoming meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries on October 4, where analysts anticipate a thorough evaluation of the market dynamics and a potential reconsideration of supply levels and prices by the producers.

Saudi Arabia and Russia played a pivotal role in the price surge as they had previously announced production cuts scheduled to persist until the end of 2023.

While anticipations are running high that the price of the commodity could surpass a possible $100 per barrel mark soon, Nigerians are worried of the implication of it on the economy.

Nigeria, though an oil exporting country is negatively impacted by a hike in global price of the commodity as it imports refined products. Up until May 29, 2023 the country has faced the challenge of subsidizing the price of petrol.

Experts say despite the acclaimed removal of fuel subsidy, the current surge in the global price of crude coupled with ongoing foreign exchange market instability the price of petrol at N615 per litre does not represent the true value of the product in a deregulated market.

They argued that while the price of diesel is currently above N1, 000 per litre due primarily to the rising price of crude oil, petrol price remains same indicating unannounced subsidy payment by the government.