The price of bread is set to rise in Nigeria as the present Russian-Ukraine war surges. Bread happens to be one of the most commonly eaten food in most Nigerian homes.
Responsible for more than 18 per cent of international exports, Russia is the world’s hugest exporter of wheat.
Daily Trust reports that the disadvantage to the war is that if supply from Russia is suspended for whatever reason, Nigeria could be met with further rising wheat prices in its local market as a result of the supply gap, which could steer to an increase in the price of some other by-products of wheat, such as bread, wheat meal amongst others. Between 2020 and 2021, the price of bread was intensified by more than 80 per cent.
Nexus News learned that the Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria (AMBCN) in 2020 had suggested a 50 per cent rise in the price of bread referring to the surging cost of raw materials and COVID-19 impact.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said wheat is the third most widely consumed grain in Nigeria, with its local production only accounting for just 1% of the 5 to 6 million metric tons consumed annually, with the country depending on importation to satisfy local demands.
The demand-supply gap has necessitated the spending of over $2 billion on wheat importation annually, representing the second-highest contributor to the country’s food import bill.
Between January and September 2021, the foreign trade report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) suggested that Nigeria imported goods valued at N813.19 billion (over $2bn annually) , representing 3.7% of Nigeria’s total import in the same period.
Also, NBS report shows that Nigeria imported durum wheat worth over N128.1 billion in the 9-month period of 2021, while it recorded a N144.14 billion durum wheat import in the previous year.
Moreover, Nigeria imports different types of seafood from Russia, some of which include mackerel, meat, herrings, blue whiting, other fish, all in frozen form.
It is also worth pointing out that Nigeria imported vaccines for human medicine from Russia in Q4 2020.
According to the Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC), in 2019, Russia and Ukraine together exported more than a quarter (25.4 per cent) of the world’s wheat.
In the event of outright aggression, the flow of wheat and grain could be disrupted. Economic sanctions or military action could have a significant effect on the cost of food as importers seek to find alternatives.
Ukraine is the fifth largest exporter of wheat, accounting for seven per cent of sales globally in 2019.