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Christmas Shopping: Nigerians Opt for Low-cost Brands

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  • Christmas Shopping: Nigerians Opt for Low-cost Brands

There has been a remarkable shift in the shopping arrangements by people ahead of the Yuletide as most shoppers now go for goods that are not expensive; just as they look for suitable alternatives for the expensive ones.

An interior decorator, Ego Oranu, said she would only shop for food and her children’s items.

“I am not buying clothes for myself; I’ll make do with the clothes that I bought last year. After buying food and stuff for the kids, there will really not be much left over because prices of things have gone up,” she said.

The President, Ikeja Shop Owners’ Association, Mr. John Okonkwo, also said, “The price of virtually every product has risen by almost 100 per cent. For instance, a five litre keg of Kings’ vegetable oil that previously sold for N1,500 now sells for N3,500 and 10kg of Semovita that was sold for N1,200 is now N3, 200. We bought one carton of tomato puree for N1,500 before; now it is N3,000. Everything that previously sold for N1,000 now sells for about N3,000,” he said.

For seasoning, Okonkwo said a carton of Maggi that sold for N5,000 was being sold for N8,000 while a similar carton of Knorr cubes that went for N4,800 had gone up to N7,200.

Hamper makers who used this period to make a lot of money lamented the ‘dry’ situation of things as they complained that many people had shunned hampers this time around.

“People are not buying items because there is no money. The sales this year are too dull. It has never been this bad. Two years ago, in a day, I made up to N200,000; but now, one would be lucky to see N40,000. Imagine somebody putting up a market of more than N2m only to sell N40,000 in a day,” Okonkwo lamented.

Most shoppers have also defined their priorities for the season since food and clothing items are expensive. Those that have chosen food consider cheaper alternatives to expensive food items.

A retired civil servant, Mrs. Roseline Akinroye, said, “I am already looking for alternatives to rice. I do not have to eat foreign rice in any case because it is not as nutritious as local rice. I can eat local rice or our local delicacies like amala, ewedu and efo riro. I can entertain my visitors with pounded yam instead of rice. Nigerians have a lot of food choices.

“I love eating turkey meat but if that is too expensive, I will buy local chicken. Also, I don’t have to buy imported drinks. I can make my lemonade at home with natural fruits, which are healthier.”

Similarly, a retired Independent National Electoral Commission employee, Mrs. yetunde Odeyemi, advised Nigerians to cut their coat according to their ‘pocket’ this Christmas.

She said, “Rice is expensive. We can eat eba and beans, although beans is expensive;it is better than rice,” she said.

An architect, Mr. Francis Eche, said he would buy more of food items than clothes since both are expensive, adding that the body needed food more than clothes.

A fashion designer, Blessing Ehikweme, said because of the high cost of living, she would concentrate on food.

Mrs. Vivian Okorie also said her shopping would be minimal because of the recession. “There is no money in the country for even people working not to talk of those that don’t have work. I will concentrate on food; then for clothes, if I have to buy any, I will buy Ankara instead of foreign materials.”

Another housewife, Esther Ifere, working with a health and nutrition firm, also said she would shop more of food than clothes.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Crude Oil

Nigeria’s Crude Oil Production Falls for Second Consecutive Month, OPEC Reports

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Nigeria’s crude oil production declined for the second consecutive month in March, according to the latest report from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Data obtained from OPEC’s Monthly Oil Market Report for April 2024 reveals that Nigeria’s crude oil production depreciated from 1.322 million barrels per day (mbpd) in February to 1.231 mbpd in March.

This decline underscores the challenges faced by Africa’s largest oil-producing nation in maintaining consistent output levels.

Despite efforts to stabilize production, Nigeria has struggled to curb the impact of oil theft and pipeline vandalism, which continue to plague the industry.

The theft and sabotage of oil infrastructure have resulted in significant disruptions, contributing to the decline in crude oil production observed in recent months.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) recently disclosed alarming statistics regarding oil theft incidents in the country.

According to reports, the NNPCL recorded 155 oil theft incidents within a single week, these incidents included illegal pipeline connections, refinery operations, vessel infractions, and oil spills, among others.

The persistent menace of oil theft poses a considerable threat to Nigeria’s economy and its position as a key player in the global oil market.

The illicit activities not only lead to revenue losses for the government but also disrupt the operations of oil companies and undermine investor confidence in the sector.

In response to the escalating problem, the Nigerian government has intensified efforts to combat oil theft and vandalism.

However, addressing these challenges requires a multi-faceted approach, including enhanced security measures, regulatory reforms, and community engagement initiatives.

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Crude Oil

Oil Prices Edge Higher Amidst Fear of Middle East Conflict

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Crude Oil

Amidst growing apprehensions of a potential conflict in the Middle East, oil prices have inched higher as investors anticipate a strike from Iran.

The specter of a showdown between Iran or its proxies and Israel has sent tremors across the oil market as traders brace for possible supply disruptions in the region.

Brent crude oil climbed above the $90 price level following a 1.1% gain on Wednesday while West Texas Intermediate (WTI) hovered near $86.

The anticipation of a strike, believed to be imminent by the United States and its allies, has cast a shadow over market sentiment. Such an escalation would follow Iran’s recent threat to retaliate against Israel for an attack on a diplomatic compound in Syria.

The trajectory of oil prices this year has been heavily influenced by geopolitical tensions and supply dynamics. Geopolitical unrest, coupled with ongoing OPEC+ supply cuts, has propelled oil prices nearly 18% higher since the beginning of the year.

However, this upward momentum is tempered by concerns such as swelling US crude stockpiles, now at their highest since July, and the impact of a hot US inflation print on Federal Reserve rate-cut expectations.

Despite the bullish sentiment prevailing among many of the world’s top traders and Wall Street banks, with some envisioning a return to $100 for the global benchmark, caution lingers.

Macquarie Group has cautioned that Brent could enter a bear market in the second half of the year if geopolitical events fail to materialize into actual supply disruptions.

“The current geopolitical environment continues to provide support to oil prices,” remarked Warren Patterson, head of commodities strategy for ING Groep NV in Singapore. However, he added, “further upside is limited without a fresh catalyst or further escalation in the Middle East.”

The rhetoric from Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, reaffirming a vow to retaliate against Israel, has only heightened tensions in the region.

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Commodities

Geopolitical Uncertainty Drives Gold Prices Higher Despite Fed Rate Cut Concerns

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As tensions simmer in the Middle East and concerns loom over Federal Reserve policy, gold continues its upward trajectory, defying expectations and reinforcing its status as the ultimate safe-haven asset.

The latest surge in gold prices comes amidst escalating geopolitical tensions in the Middle East.

Reports suggest that the United States and its allies are bracing for potential missile or drone strikes by Iran or its proxies on military and government targets in Israel. Such a significant escalation in the six-month-old conflict has sent shockwaves through financial markets, prompting investors to seek refuge in gold.

Despite initial setbacks earlier in the week, gold resumed its blistering rally, buoyed by the specter of geopolitical uncertainty.

On Wednesday, the precious metal witnessed its most significant decline in almost a month following a hotter-than-expected US inflation readout.

This unexpected data led traders to recalibrate their expectations for Federal Reserve interest rate cuts this year, causing the yield on 10-year Treasuries to surge above 4.5%.

However, gold’s resilience in the face of shifting market dynamics remains remarkable. Even as concerns mount over the Fed’s rate-cutting trajectory, the allure of gold as a safe-haven asset persists.

Prices hover just shy of a record high reached earlier in the week, propelled by robust buying from central banks.

Market analysts interviewed by Bloomberg anticipate further gains in gold prices, citing continued geopolitical tensions and strong momentum in the market.

The precious metal’s near-20% rally since mid-February underscores its enduring appeal as a hedge against uncertainty and inflationary pressures.

At 9:54 a.m. in Singapore, spot gold rose 0.3% to $2,341.58 an ounce, signaling continued investor confidence in the metal’s resilience.

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index, meanwhile, remained relatively unchanged near its highest level since November.

Silver, often considered a bellwether for precious metals, held steady after reaching a three-year high, while platinum and palladium also registered gains.

As the world navigates through a complex web of geopolitical tensions and economic uncertainties, gold remains a beacon of stability in an increasingly volatile landscape.

Its ability to weather market fluctuations and maintain its allure as a safe-haven asset reaffirms its timeless appeal to investors seeking refuge amidst uncertainty.

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