- 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.
Gold Gained Ahead of Joe Biden Inauguration 2021
Gold price rose from one and a half month low on Tuesday ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday.
The precious metal, largely regarded as a haven asset by investors, edged up by 0.2 percent to $1,844.52 per ounce on Tuesday, up from $1,802.61 on Monday.
He said, “The key factor appears to be the (U.S.) currency.”
As expected, a change in administration comes with the change in economic policies, especially taking into consideration the peculiarities of the present situation. In fact, even though Biden, Janet Yellen and the rest of the new cabinet are expected to go all out on additional stimulus with the support of Democrats controlled Houses, economic uncertainties with rising COVID-19 cases and slow vaccine distribution remained a huge concern.
Also, the effectiveness of the vaccines can not be ascertained until wider rollout.
Still, which policy would be halted or sustained by the incoming administration remained a concern that has forced many investors to once again flee other assets for Gold ahead of tomorrow’s inauguration.
Crude Oil Holds Steady Above $55 Per Barrel on Tuesday
Brent Crude oil, against which Nigerian crude oil is priced, rose from $54.46 per barrel on Monday to $55.27 per barrel as of 9:03 am Nigerian time on Tuesday.
Last week, Brent crude oil rose to 11 months high of $57.38 per barrel before pulling back on rising COVID-19 cases and lockdowns in key global economies like the United Kingdom, Euro-Area, China, etc.
While OPEC has left 2021 oil demand unchanged and President-elect Joe Biden has announced a $1.9 trillion stimulus package, experts are saying the rising number of new cases of COVID-19 amid poor vaccine distribution could drag on growth and demand for oil in 2021.
On Friday, Dan Yergin, vice-chairman at IHS Markit, said in addition to the stimulus package “There are two other things that are going with it … one is of course, vaccinations — in the sense that eventually this crisis is going to end, and maybe by the spring, lockdowns will be over.”
“The other thing is what Saudi Arabia did. This is the third time Saudi Arabia has made a sudden change in policy in less than a year, and this one was to announce (the) 1 million barrel a day cut — partly because they are worried about the impact of the surge in virus that’s occurring,” he said.
Also, the stimulus being injected into the United States economy could spur huge Shale production and disrupt OPEC and allies’ efforts at balancing the global oil market in 2021.
Crude Oil Pulled Back Despite Joe Biden Stimulus
Crude oil pulled back on Friday despite the $1.9 trillion stimulus package announced by U.S President-elect, Joe Biden.
Brent crude oil, against which Nigeria’s oil is priced, pulled back from $57.38 per barrel on Wednesday to $55.52 per barrel on Friday in spite of the huge stimulus package announced on Thursday.
On Thursday, OPEC, in its latest outlook for the year, said uncertainties remain high in 2021 with the number of COVID-19 new cases on the rise.
OPEC said, “Uncertainties remain high going forward with the main downside risks being issues related to COVID-19 containment measures and the impact of the pandemic on consumer behavior.”
“These will also include how many countries are adapting lockdown measures, and for how long. At the same time, quicker vaccination plans and a recovery in consumer confidence provide some upside optimism.”
Governments across Europe have announced tighter and longer coronavirus lockdowns, with vaccinations not expected to have a significant impact for the next few months.
“The complex remains in pause mode, a development that should not be surprising given the magnitude of the oil price gains that have been developing for some 2-1/2 months,” Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates, said.
Still, OPEC left its crude oil projections unchanged for the year. The oil cartel expected global oil demand to increase by 5.9 million barrels per day year on year to an average of 95.9 million per day in 2020.
But also OPEC expects a recent rally and stimulus to boost U.S. Shale crude oil production in the year, a projection Investors King experts expect to hurt OPEC strategy in 2021.
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