Coronavirus: Cost of Chinese products in Nigeria surge

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Prices of Chinese phones imported into Nigeria have reportedly risen exponentially over the past couple of weeks owing to the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Findings revealed that within the last three weeks, the rate at which products were imported from China had reduced drastically. This is because many of the companies producing the products in China have shut down due to the rapid spread of the virus.

Why this matters: The Nigerian mobile market is currently dominated by Chinese mobile manufacturers. According to the NCC, brands like Tecno, Huawei, and ZTE as well as Oppo, Xiaomi, and Vivo are all Chinese phones leading the market.

Also, China is one of Nigeria’s major trading partners. Consequently, the outbreak of the virus has direct impacts on Nigeria and other countries that depend heavily on Chinese exports.

Samuel Nnamdi, an Abuja based phone dealer, made known that he had been out of stock of Infinix, Tecno, Gionee and other brands of phones in the last two weeks.

According to him, phone dealers, who travelled to China for the new year in order to bring in new products have been unable to do so due to the coronavirus outbreak. Nnamdi said this had resulted in the supply gaps of the phones.

Hiked prices: Prices of phones produced in China had increased by an average of 15% within the last one month. For instance, a unit of Infinix Hot 8 phone sold for N36,000 in Abuja about a month ago is now being sold for about N42,000 due to the scarcity.

Similarly, the price of a unit of Tecno Spark 4 has risen from N34,000 to N40,000 while that of Samsung A51 has moved up from N100,000 to N110,000.

Commenting on the matter, the President, National Association of Nigerian Traders, Ken Ukaoha, lamented the adverse effect coronavirus has on trade between Nigeria and China as well as the global community.

Ukaoha said“The coronavirus has seriously affected trade between Nigeria and China and the rest of the global community. Now, as it is, what we are running into is that there will be a trade shortage across the world.

“Trade between Nigeria and China is very strategic because over 87% of goods imported into Nigeria are from China and the entire Asian Tiger. Now you can see that coronavirus has affected China and places like South Korea as well and then people are no longer going to those places.

 “If you look at the transportation sector now, you discover a dwindling of passengers going into China. So, the virus is negative having an impact both on trade, transport and tourism over there.”

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