Main Article Content
Despite studies on price vis-à-vis the purchase of agricultural products, none seems to have addressed the effects of price speculation on consumers’ purchase behaviour of agricultural products in Ehime Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State. To address the problem, the study determined the trend of agricultural commodities prices from 2015-2020; analysed the factors influencing price speculation in relation to purchasing behaviour of agricultural products consumers; analysed the effect of price speculation on the purchase behaviour of agricultural products consumers; and analysed the constraints to increasing the stability of prices of agricultural products. A multistage sampling procedure involving three stages was employed to select respondents for the study. Data were collected with the use of a structured questionnaire. Data were analysed using both inferential and descriptive statistics (frequency, bar chart, line graphs, factor analysis, and multinomial regression analysis. Results showed that there has been a steady increase in the prices of agricultural products since 2015 with their peak prices in 2020 at N24, 523.3, and N 9, 883.0 for milled rice and palm oil respectively. The result further showed that consumer perception, demand and supply, cost of production, government policies, exchange rate, hoarding of the commodity, and taxation were the factors influencing price speculation on the purchase behaviour of agricultural product consumers. With the R2 of 0.894, F-cal of 22.997, and F-tab of 2.02, the result gave strong proof that price speculation has a significant effect on the purchase behaviour of agricultural product consumers in Ehime Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State. The result identified the activities of the middlemen, demand and supply, producer’s goodwill, grading, and standardization, inadequate product sales outlet, and taste and preference as constraints to agricultural product’s price stability. Based on the findings, the study recommended for establishment of price regulatory authority for agricultural commodities so as to create a clear price structure for products; increased awareness of the activities of the middlemen.