Prices of beans, especially the brown variant which had been on the high side since 2017, hitting the roof tops in July 2018, started declining gradually in October, but became more evident during and after the Christmas and New Year celebrations.
Prior to the celebrations, the persistent rise in the prices of the commodity, irrespective of the species, had been a source of concern, particularly to the common man, who considered it as the cheapest source of protein.
Besides, the health benefits derived from the consumption of the staple food cannot be overemphasised as there is no Nigerian home that does not have beans on their menu list, regardless of their social class.
But, for the common man, consumption of the commodity was a struggle, especially during the period of scarcity.
The continued restiveness by insurgents in the Northern Nigeria has not helped the situation either as prices of the commodity, in spite of the decline recorded, appeared to still be on the high side when compared with what they were previously.
More so, chunk of the commodity in all the markets emanate from the North.
Many traders were also taken aback at the turn of event, as majority of them viewed the decline in prices of beans as a good omen, enabling some of them who had abandoned the trade when prices of the commodity were unfavorable to recommence the business.
Also, those who continued with the business even when the prices were highly exorbitant were able to sustain and up their normal purchases.
Findings from the Business and Market Intelligence Unit of DAILY INDEPENDENT revealed that prices of the commodity fell by over 30 percent from October 2018 to January 10, 2019, a situation which traders connected to improved supply, low demand, seasonal factors and lack of purchasing power.
During the week, visit to Wuse Market, Abuja, revealed that prices of the commodity had actually dropped. For example, prices of a 100kg bag of brown beans (drum) that previously attracted between N36,000 and N38,000 decreased by over 30 percent, currently selling for between N25,000 and N26,000 during the week under review.
Mr. Abu Waziri, who trades in all kinds of grains at the Wuse Market, Abuja, linked the decline to availability occasioned by on-season effect.
The same could be said for that of Achau Market, Kaduna, especially with prices of a 100kg bag of brown beans currently ranging from N25,000 to N26,000 down from N34,000 sold initially.
Many of the traders attributed the situation to low patronage and improved supply.
Mustapha Iliyasu, a trader at the Achau Market, Kaduna, said the reduction in prices of the commodity had not translated in to sales owing to lack of money.
At the Gombe Main Market, Gombe, the situation was not different as prices of a 100kg bag of browns reduced to between N24,000 and N24,500 from N32,000 sold initially, of which most of the traders ascribed to low demand and preference for the white species which is quite cheaper.
In Ogbeogologo Market, Asaba, Delta State, prices of the commodity were at a downward trend, falling within the region of N34,000 and N35,000 against N50,000 sold previously. Thus, recording a whopping variance of N16,000, signifying a 32 percent reduction.
That of Ose market, Onitsha, was also encouraging, declining to between N34,000 and N34,500 from between N48,000 and N49,000 sold earlier.
A man named Uchenna Friday at the Ose Market, Onitsha, in a chat with DAILY INDEPENDENT ascribed the situation to availability and poor sales.
Checks at the Itam Market, Uyo, indicated that prices of a 100kg bag of brown (drum) beans that were previously sold for N48,000 fell to between N35,000 and N36,000, a 28 percent reduction.
A large portion of the traders however linked the drop in prices to improved supply due to seasonal factors.
At the Lafenwa Market, Ogun State, prices of a 100kg bag of brown beans dropped, currently ranging from N32,000 to N33,000 against N42,000 sold before, a situation which most of the traders attributed to season of abundance.
Likewise, the white species, declining to between N18,000 and N19,000 from N26,000 sold initially.
A lady, who came to shop for food items at the Lafenwa Market, Ogun State, said the drop in the prices of other staple food was not a surprise to her but that of beans was really astonishing because of the persistent rise for a long time.
She was however,happy about the situation as she was able to increase her purchases.
For Bodija Market, Ibadan, the trend was similar; for example, prices of a 100kg bag of brown beans that were earlier sold for between N46,000 and N48,000 declined to between N32,000 and N33,000 during the week under review.
Mrs. Ganiat Ibrahim, who trades in all kinds of grains at the Bodija Market, Ibadan, ascribed the drop to increased supplies from its major sources such as Niger, Maiduguri, and Gombe . This is just as Mr. Akin Nuraini, another trader of the same market agreed with her but connected the situation principally to poor patronage of the commodity by traders from South/South/East and West owing to high cost of logistics in transporting the commodity from the North.
In Lagos, visits to popular markets such as Mile 12, Iddo, Daleko and Ile-Epo showed that prices of the commodity have declined, especially with the current prices of a 100kg bag of browns going for between N33,000 and N34,000 down from between N48,000 and N50,000 sold previously.
Many of the traders and consumers were seen jubilating over the sharp reduction in prices of the commodity as they were able to increase their procurement.
The drop in the prices of bags also reflected in smaller measures, a situation which consumers are happy about.
The post Consumers Jubilate As Prices Of Brown Beans Decline appeared first on Independent Newspapers Nigeria.
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Author: Iseghe Ajayi