Food prices to keep rising due to impact of COVID-19 – Esoko

Commodity price survey service company, Esoko, is predicting that the prices of food items will continue to rise in the coming weeks due to the impact of COVID-19 on supply and production of some commodities.
This is premised on the fact that for the post lock down period, two of the major staple foodstuff, cassava and maize recorded increase in prices across some markets surveyed in the country.

An analysis by Esoko which surveyed seven markets across Ghana, showed that the price of a 91kg of cassava recorded the highest increase of 28.84% to record 124 cedis in April 2020, compared to the previous month [March].
This was followed by cooking tomato and medium size of the pona variety of yam.

A 72kg crate and 100 tubers of tomato and yam sold for 826 and 815 cedis respectively.

Maize, followed with its price increasing by 18.11%; to record 164 cedis for a 100kg bag.

Content Manager for Esoko, Francis Danso Adjei explained the factors accounting for the rise in prices for the period.

“If there is too much rain, it spoils the cassava; within the month of April, we didn’t have a lot of rains to let the farmers uproot and sell the cassava. For the same month too, some markets also regulated how traders plied or how consumers go there to trade,” he remarked.

Meanwhile, Accra recorded the highest price for a 91kg of cassava of 177 cedis with Dambai recording the lowest of 98 cedis.

For tomato, the highest price for a 72kg crate of the commodity was sold at Kumasi at 1,233 cedis with Takoradi recording the lowest of 398 cedis.

The highest price for a 50kg bag of imported rice stood at 400 cedis in Tamale and Dambai while Techiman recorded the lowest of 320 cedis.

However, the highest price for a 100 kg bag of local rice stood at 440 cedis in Kumasi while Takoradi had the lowest price of 260 cedis.

On the projections for the next month, Esoko says it expects prices to rise and this Francis Danso Adjei largely attributes to the possible impact of the restricted movements on markets.

“We are still not clear in our minds what is the way forward, and traders are also taking advantage of some of these things and adjusting prices. We are still in the off season coupled with COVID-19, we are still expecting that prices increase in May as well,” he emphasized.

The food items which recorded least increases in prices were imported rice, shelled groundnut and soya beans.

A 50 kg bag of imported rice increased by 20 pesewas to record 366 cedis; from 365.80.

Shelled groundnut and soya bean followed in the 11th and 10th positions recording price increases of 3 and 4.11% respectively.