Prices of soya beans, which witnessed a marginal decline in January this year after a lingering persistent rise, have started soaring again. The commodity mostly patronised by nursing mothers, and the elderly because of its nutritional values appeared to be beyond the reach of many.
However, findings revealed that a large proportion of lovers of soya beans have swapped to cheaper alternative owing to lack of purchasing power. Again, the situation saw traders complaining of low patronage because of the increase, which also had an adverse effect on their purchases and sales.
Nonetheless, during the week, findings from a market survey across some states by the Business and Market Intelligence report, indicated that prices of soya beans skyrocketed by over 25 and 30 per cent in some markets between January and May 17, 2018.
The survey results showed that reasons for the rise in the prices of the commodity were principally due to inadequate supply, inflation and Boko Haram insurgency in the North, among others. Nevertheless, visits to popular Wuse Market, Abuja, showed that prices of soya beans were at an upward trend. With a 100kg bag of the commodity currently going for between N14,500 and N15,000 up from N11,000 sold previously. This, however, depends on the size of the bag and the bargaining power of the buyer.
That of Maikarfi Market, Kaduna, also experienced same, especially with the prices of a 100kg bag of soya beans ranging from N13,500 to N14,000 as against N10,500 sold initially. A man named Aameen who trades in grains at the Wuse Market, Abuja, attributed the hike to high cost of transportation.
For that of King’s Market, Ado-Ekiti, the situation was not different as a the prices of a 100kg bag of the commodity soared, increasing from N16,500 sold previously to between N19,500 and N20,000, a 21 percent rise. Mr. Elijah, who sells the commodity at the King’s Market, Ado-Ekiti, during a chat linked the sudden rise to unavailability owing to insurgency in the Northern region.
This is just as Madam Eniola, another trader of same market concurred with him but added that hoarding was the key reason for the exorbitant price as she opined that farmers preferred to sell the commodity in foreign currency to neighbouring countries such as Niger and Cameroun.
Thus, making the commodity limited and beyond the reach of the common folks owing to its outrageous prices.
In the same vein, that of Ogbeogologo Market, Asaba, was not favourable. For instance, a 100kg bag of soya beans that was earlier sold for N25,000 rose by 20 percent to N30,000, a situation which a higher portion of the traders interviewed were not happy about as they linked the unfavourable price to logistics constraints and seasonal factors.
The same could be said for that of Ose Market, Onitsha, as a 100kg bag of soya beans formerly sold for between N22,000 and N23,000 soared, attracting between N26,000 and N27,000, a 23 percent increase. Still, checks at the Oba Market, Benin City, revealed that prices of a 100kg bag of soya beans witnessed an upsurge of over 20 percent as it currently goes from between N23,000 and N24,000 up from N18,500 sold initially.
Mr. Momoudu, who sells the commodity at the Oba Market, Benin City, said that unavailability and high cost of transportation were responsible for the hike.
However, that of Bodija Market, Ibadan, although relatively cheaper than what was obtainable in South-South region particularly with the prices of a 100kg bag of soya beans ranging from N18,500 to N19,000 as against N15,000 sold previously.
A man who simply identified himself as Shina, but trades in grains at the Bodija Market, Ibadan, ascribed the hike in the prices of the commodity to the Nigerian factor such as scarcity, inflation and off-season effect. Nonetheless, that of Lagos was not different, soaring noticeably as visits to popular markets such as Iddo, Daleko and Mile 12 revealed the situation.
For instance, the price of a 100kg bag of soya beans that declined sharply to N15,000 in January this year, attracted between N19,000 and N20,000 signifying a 27 or 33 percent increase of which majority of the traders blamed the hike to inadequate supply, change of Buhari’s administration and high cost of logistics from the North.
However, Mr. Obiekwe who sells soya beans and other types of grains at the Iddo Market, Lagos, shared same view to some extent as he specifically connected the prices increase in grains to the dreaded activities of the insurgents in the North which had forced many farmers to abandon their farmlands for fear of being killed by the sects.
Consequently, those who procured the commodity in smaller measures were the most adversely affected. For example, a paint bucket measurement of soya beans that was previously sold for between N700 and N800 currently range from N1,000 to N1,200 depending on the location and the haggling power of the buyer.