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Cooking Gas Scarcity Hits Lagos and Other States

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cooking gas cylinder

A significant shortage of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), commonly known as cooking gas, has disrupted availability in Lagos and several other Nigerian states.

Investigation has revealed that Katsina, Sokoto, Delta, Kaduna, and Kano have also been adversely affected.

The price of cooking gas has been on the rise in the past month due to a broad-based scarcity that limited access to the commodity.

In October, gas terminal proprietors increased prices by around 66% to push the cost of 20 metric tons from N10 million to N16 million.

As a result, the cost of a 12.5kg cooking gas cylinder is now between N13,500 and N14,000 on the black market as gas plant operators are reportedly selling the product to traders for N1100 to N1200 per kilogram.

This was around N8,700 in June when the commodity was readily available across the nation.

Marketers have underlined the legitimacy of their foreign exchange (FX) transactions and have called upon relevant authorities to scrutinize any suspected wrongdoing.

Residents have pointed out the exceptional price hikes and the reduced longevity of gas within cylinders, expressing concerns about gas quality and durability.

Diverse Impacts Across States and Communities

While gas availability was reported in Kwara, scarcity and unaffordable prices have plagued other regions. Concerns have been raised about the declining quality of the gas supplied.

The ongoing discrepancies between terminal owners and regulatory authorities underscore the persisting issue of rising gas prices, which many fear will further burden the already struggling population if not urgently addressed.

Commodities

Global Cocoa Prices Surge to Record Levels, Processing Remains Steady

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cocoa-tree

Cocoa futures in New York have reached a historic pinnacle with the most-active contract hitting an all-time high of $11,578 a metric ton in early trading on Friday.

This surge comes amidst a backdrop of challenges in the cocoa industry, including supply chain disruptions, adverse weather conditions, and rising production costs.

Despite these hurdles, the pace of processing in chocolate factories has remained constant, providing a glimmer of hope for chocolate lovers worldwide.

Data released after market close on Thursday revealed that cocoa processing, known as “grinds,” was up in North America during the first quarter, appreciating by 4% compared to the same period last year.

Meanwhile, processing in Europe only saw a modest decline of about 2%, and Asia experienced a slight decrease.

These processing figures are particularly noteworthy given the current landscape of cocoa prices. Since the beginning of 2024, cocoa futures have more than doubled, reflecting the immense pressure on the cocoa market.

Yet, despite these soaring prices, chocolate manufacturers have managed to maintain their production levels, indicating resilience in the face of adversity.

The surge in cocoa prices can be attributed to a variety of factors, including supply shortages caused by adverse weather conditions in key cocoa-producing regions such as West Africa.

Also, rising demand for chocolate products, particularly premium and artisanal varieties, has contributed to the upward pressure on prices.

While the spike in cocoa prices presents challenges for chocolate manufacturers and consumers alike, industry experts remain cautiously optimistic about the resilience of the cocoa market.

Despite the record-breaking prices, the steady pace of cocoa processing suggests that chocolate lovers can still expect to indulge in their favorite treats, albeit at a higher cost.

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Commodities

Dangote Refinery Cuts Diesel Price to ₦1,000 Amid Economic Boost

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Aliko Dangote - Investors King

Dangote Petroleum Refinery has reduced the price of diesel from ₦1200 to ₦1,000 per litre.

This price adjustment is in response to the demand of oil marketers, who last week clamoured for a lower price.

Just three weeks ago, the refinery had already made waves by lowering the price of diesel to ₦1,200 per litre, a 30% reduction from the previous market price of around ₦1,600 per litre.

Now, with the latest reduction to ₦1,000 per litre, Dangote Refinery is demonstrating its commitment to providing accessible and affordable fuel to consumers across the country.

This move is expected to have far-reaching implications for Nigeria’s economy, particularly in tackling high inflation rates and promoting economic stability.

Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man and the owner of the refinery, expressed confidence that the reduction in diesel prices would contribute to a drop in inflation, offering hope for improved economic conditions.

Dangote stated that the Nigerian people have demonstrated patience amidst economic challenges, and he believes that this reduction in diesel prices is a step in the right direction.

He pointed out the aggressive devaluation of the naira, which has significantly impacted the country’s economy, and sees the price reduction as a positive development that will benefit Nigerians.

With this latest move, Dangote Refinery is not only reshaping the fuel market but also reaffirming its commitment to driving positive change and progress in Nigeria.

The reduction in diesel prices is expected to provide relief to consumers, businesses, and various sectors of the economy, paving the way for a brighter and more prosperous future.

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Commodities

Citigroup Predicts $3,000 Value Amidst Investor Surge

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gold bars - Investors King

Citigroup Inc. has predicted that the world’s leading safe haven asset, gold will reach $3,000 per ounce.

This announcement comes amidst a significant surge in investor interest in the precious metal, fueled by a myriad of factors ranging from geopolitical tensions to shifting monetary policies.

Analysts at Citigroup, led by Aakash Doshi, have upgraded their estimates for average gold prices in 2024 to $2,350, with a 40% upward revision in their 2025 prediction to $2,875.

They anticipate that trading will regularly test and surpass the $2,500 price level in the latter half of the year.

The rationale behind Citigroup’s optimistic outlook lies in several key factors. Firstly, the expectation of a Federal Reserve interest rate cut has spurred increased investor inflows into gold as historically low interest rates tend to make non-yielding assets like gold more attractive.

Also, ongoing conflicts in regions such as the Middle East and Ukraine have heightened geopolitical uncertainty, further bolstering gold’s appeal as a safe-haven asset.

Furthermore, central banks, particularly those in emerging markets, have been actively accumulating gold reserves, adding to the overall demand for the precious metal.

China, in particular, has demonstrated robust consumer demand for gold, further underpinning Citigroup’s bullish stance.

According to Citigroup analysts, the resurgence of inflows into gold-backed exchange-traded funds (ETFs) has played a significant role in supporting the climb towards the $3,000 mark.

This trend marks a departure from recent years, where such inflows were relatively subdued.

While Citigroup acknowledges the possibility of a pullback in prices around May or June, they anticipate strong buying support at the $2,200 per ounce threshold, suggesting that any dips in price may be short-lived.

The bank’s forecast aligns with sentiments expressed by other major financial institutions. Goldman Sachs Group Inc., for instance, has raised its year-end forecast for gold to $2,700, citing similar factors driving the commodity’s upward trajectory.

UBS Group AG also sees gold reaching $2,500 by the year’s end, further corroborating the bullish outlook shared by Citigroup.

As investors brace for what could be a historic rally in gold prices, Citigroup’s projection serves as a testament to the growing optimism surrounding the precious metal.

With geopolitical tensions simmering and central banks poised to enact accommodative monetary policies, gold appears poised to shine brightly in the months ahead, potentially realizing Citigroup’s ambitious target of $3,000 per ounce.

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