Lagos – Some traders and buyers of palm oil at the Mile 12 Market, Lagos State, on Friday decried the hike in the prices of the commodity.
In Lagos the increment was due to the restriction placed of imported palm oil.
A 20-litre keg of palm oil now sells for N6, 500, as against the N6, 000 it attracted earlier in the year.
The check also indicated that the price per bottle had also increased from N200 to N250.
Mrs Tola Adewale, a palm oil trader at the market, said that buyers were complaining about the price hike, occasioned by the scarcity of the commodity.
Adewale, however, said that there would a be likely drop in the price from next month when the market would be flooded with the commodity.
“This is not the season for mass production of palm oil. That is why our customers are feeling the effects of the scarcity now.
“The season for its mass production will start in March.
“Now, the price fluctuates between N6, 000 and N6, 500 for the a-20 litre keg, which we used to sell at N5, 500 or even N5, 000,’’ Adewale said.
Another palm oil trader at the Ketu Market, Mr Jude Ike, said that the restriction on importation by the Nigeria Customs Service, (NCS) was affecting the availability of the commodity.
Ike said that he was particularly happy about the situation, stating that the order would promote local production.
“I will say it is a welcome development that the NSC would restrict the importation of palm oil from the neighbouring countries.
“This step will improve and boost our local production of the produce; but the commodity is lacking in the market now.
“The price has gone up because of this and we wish that the production of palm oil in Nigeria will increase also, the season is beginning anytime from now,’’ Ike said.
Some of the consumers said that they had to spend more to get palm oil, to enable them to resell it in other markets and shops.
Ms Titilayo Adeodun, a buyer at the Ishaga Market, said that she used to buy three 20-litre containers, but she had to reduce it to two kegs and a 10-litre container now because of the hike in price.
Adeodun said that she would sell the ones she had bought and expect that the season of availability would start in earnest.
“I am hoping that the season of harvest and availability will start soon, because this will mean that I will add to the amount I sell to my customers.
“As it is now, I will sell a five-litre container for N1, 400; whereas, we used to sell that quantity for between N1, 100 and N1, 200.
“The bottle measure will increase too, from N200 to N220 or N230, as the case maybe, ‘’ the trader said.
NAN reports that the season when palm oil is usually in abundance is between mid-February and March, then the price would drop and remain stable till September.