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Maize, rice, sorghum, other food prices to soar – AFEX

Global food prices

Nigeria’s leading commodities market player, AFEX has forecasted higher prices increase across six food commodities, namely maize, paddy rice, sorghum, soybean, cocoa and sesame by the end of December 2022 to the first half of 2023. AFEX’s forecast is contained in its 2022 Wet Season Crop Production Report unveiled at a hybrid event hosted at the firm’s head office in Abuja on Wednesday.

The report said maize which faces a projected decline in production levels of up to 14 percent is projected to reach a higher average price point ranging between N214, 980/metric ton ($486.72) and N220,000/metric ton ($498.09) by the end of the fourth quarter (Q4) 2022.

According to the report, this is compared to an average price of ($475.97) N210, 229/metric ton in Q4 2021, and projected that soybean prices will rise by 6% by May 2023.

David Ibidapo, AFEX head of market data and research who presented the report said annual crop production research seeks to provide robust market intelligence for agriculture value chain players in Nigeria.

“The 2022 Wet Season Crop Production Report forecasts an average decline in production levels of up to 11.5% across commodities like maize, paddy rice, sorghum, and cocoa, while soybean and sesame will experience a close to 6.5% increase in production levels.

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“Nigeria’s most consumed grains are currently faced with declining food balance sheets as consumption levels rise faster than production levels, worsening food insecurity,” he said.

Ibidapo said the report which seeks to provide accurate and reliable data to aid the understanding of the national food system through farmer surveys and measurement of transaction-level data, tracks six key commodities and their performance in the preceding season.

“As reflected in the report, price and market changes across maize, paddy rice, sorghum, soybean, cocoa and sesame have been affected both by predictable seasonality effects and activities in the agricultural value chain as well as larger macroeconomic and global events.

“We have more than doubled the count of farmers surveyed for this research, up from 9117 farmers surveyed last year to 20,677 farmers surveyed for this year’s report.”

He also specified key indicators measured through the survey, stating that “factors such as land usage, inputs (quality of seeds and fertilizer usage), weather conditions, and the farmers’ output expectations were put into primary consideration.”

Ibidapo also said the projected price hikes across commodities in the report were also tied majorly to incidences of flooding resulting from incessant rainfall in key producing regions, which would further heighten the gap between production and output levels by farmers.

“Effects of the Russia-Ukraine crisis continue to be felt in the local agricultural commodity markets, especially because of the hike in the price of fertilizer. This negative impact was also highlighted in the report as affecting the output level of most commodities.

“The report forecasts paddy rice as being the most susceptible to production and output pressures, facing close to a 22.47percent decline in production volumes this year in the wake of the crisis-induced fertilizer price hike.

“Access to reliable data is a reoccurring limitation for agriculture on the continent. AFEX has consistently advocated for a food balance sheet for the continent that will strengthen productivity improvement efforts, subsequently, enhancing food security, he added.