According to Business Day Bread, a staple food for most Nigerians may soon disappear from the breakfast table as its price has risen by 25 percent in two weeks, following a sharp increase in the prices of sugar, flour and butter, which are the major components, BusinessDay investigations show.
The implication is that hard times await Nigerians with dwindling disposable income, particularly, the middle and low level income earners who rely on bread for their breakfast, as the prices of other items like cornflakes and bean-cakes, among others, have shot up on account of rising inflation.
“The price of sugar increased as a result of the change in foreign exchange,” said Sule Abdullahi, Acting Group Managing Director at Dangote Sugar Refinery.
Nigerian inflation increased in May to the highest rate since February 2010 as food, electricity and other energy costs drove up prices in Africa’s largest economy.
Inflation rate rose to 15.6 percent from 13.7 percent the month before, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on June 14.
Tajudeen Ibrahim, team head at Chapel Denham Hill had earlier told BusinessDay that soaring sugar prices will further deepen the woes of raw sugar importers.
“The major concerns for the broad economy are two. The first is a further pressure on FX as sugar refiners will demand for more dollars to import raw sugar as prices increase. The second is higher food inflation as the relevant companies pass input cost increases to consumers in Nigeria,’’ Ibrahim said.
BusinessDay market monitor in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Owerri shows prices of sugar, flour and butter increasing between 11 to 16 percent.
A survey at Mushin market in Lagos on Saturday, showed that a bag of sugar rose by over 13 percent to sell for N11,900 from N10,500 while a 50 kg bag of flour increased by over 11 percent to sell for N10, 000 from N9,100 two weeks ago.
Similarly, the price of a 10kg bucket of golden gate margarine which sold for between N6,000 and N6, 500, two weeks ago, now goes for N7,000.