The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), said the average prices paid by consumers for rice, eggs, tomato and yam rose in March.
In its Selected Food Price Watch Data for March 2021, NBS said, “The average price of one dozen of Agric eggs medium size increased year-on-year, YoY, by 14 percent and month-on-month, MoM, by 1.19 percent to N524.47 in March 2021 from N518.30 in February 2021 while the average price of a piece of Agric eggs medium size (the price of one) increased YoY by 21 percent and MoM by 2.3 percent to N48.43 in March 2021 from N47.35 in February 2021.
“The average price of 1kg of tomato increased YoY by 4.8 percent and decreased MoM by -0.64 percent to N267.45 in March 2021 from N269.18 in February 2021.”
Similarly, the average price of 1kg of yam tuber increased year-on-year by 18.77% and month on month by 0.82% to N244.82 in March 2021 from N242.82 in February 2021.
The average price of 1kg of rice (imported high quality sold loose) increased year-on-year by 24.06% and month-on-month by 1.27% to N544.21 in March 2021 from N537.37 in February 2021.
Headline inflation rose for the nineteenth consecutive month to 18.17% YoY in March 2021, as all composites of the CPI recorded an increase in the period. The index growth touched a 50-month high driven by a surge in food prices. Food inflation increased by 22.95% YoY in March 2021 to set a record as the highest increase since the CPI was rebased in 2009.
The upward trajectory in food inflation since August 2019 has been on the back of the worsening security situation in the country, particularly in central food-producing states. The farmers and herders crisis, as well as the banditry activities, have continued to constrain output. Also, adverse weather conditions impacted negatively on local food production.
The upward adjustment in fuel prices, which resulted in rising transport cost over the period, also contributed to the rise in food prices. Other persisting issues that have kept prices elevated include legacy challenges such as lack of storage facilities, poor road network, and poor farming practice, among others.
Food inflation increased by 84bps to 22.95% YoY in March 2021 from 21.79% in February 2021. Month-on-month, the index rose by 1.90%, relative to the 1.89% recorded in February 2021. The sharpest price increases in the index were on bread & cereals; fish; potatoes, yam, and other tubers; vegetables; meat; oil & fats; and fruits.