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NBS: Nigeria’s trade deficit deepens on rising imports

Nigeria recorded a trade deficit of – N3.943 billion in the first quarter of 2021 as the level of imports outweighed export, latest merchandise trade data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed on Monday. NBS put Nigeria’s total merchandise trade at N9.757 billion, representing 6.99 per cent increase over the value recorded in Q4’20 and 14.13 per cent compared to Q1’20.

 

“The export component of this trade stood at N2.907 billion, representing 29.79 per cent of the total trade while import was valued at N6.850 billion, representing 70.21 per cent. The higher level of imports over exports resulted in a trade deficit (in goods) of -N3.943billion.

The value of crude oil export stood at N1.929 billion, representing 66.38 per cent of the total export recorded in Q1’21, while non –crude oil export accounted for 33.62 per cent of the total export,” NBS said. The value of total trade was 6.99 per cent higher in Q1’21 compared to Q4’20 and 14.13 per cent higher than the value recorded in Q1’20.

 

According to NBS data, the value of total imports rose by 15.61 per cent in Q1’21 compared to Q4’20 and 54.30 per cent compared to Q1’20. The value of imported agricultural products was 18.37 per cent higher in Q1’21 than in Q4’20 and 140.47 per cent higher year on year, value of raw material imports fell by 6.50 per cent in Q1’21 compared to Q4’20 but increased by 109.29 per cent compared to Q1’20 while solid minerals imports was 36.97 per cent higher in Q1’21 than in Q4’20 and 59.26 per cent more than its value in Q1’20.

 

Similarly, the value of energy goods imports was 34.39 per cent in Q1’21 higher than in Q4’20 and 1,346.72 per cent higher than the value recorded in Q1’20 while value of other oil products imported in Q1’21 was 19.02 per cent more than its value in Q4’20 but 15.76 per cent less than the corresponding quarter of 2020. For export component, NBS noted a decrease in total exports by 8.99 per cent in Q1’21 against the level recorded in Q4’20 and 29.26per cent compared to Q1’20.

 

It said the value of agricultural exports increased by 128.0 per cent in Q1’21 compared to Q4’20 and 0.1 per cent compared to Q1’20, value of solid minerals exports increased by 107.2 per cent in Q1’21 against Q4’20 and 481.7 per cent against the corresponding quarter in 2020 while exports of energy goods increased in value by 16.3 per cent in Q1’21 compared to Q4’20 and 18.1 per cent compared to Q1’20.

 

“The export value of other oil products increased by 25.5 per cent in Q1’21 compared to Q4’20, and rose marginally 0.1 per cent compared to Q1’20,” NBS said. With regard to import trade, according to region, Asia as the dominant originating region with a record of N3.319 billion or 48.45 per cent followed by Europe with N2.471 billion or 36.08 per cent,

 

America, N827.8 billion or 12.08 per cent, Africa, N183.4billion or 2.68 per cent and Oceania, N48.5billion or 0.71 per cent. Out of the value recorded for Africa, import from ECOWAS countries accounted for N20.8 billion.

 

Further analysis of imports by country of origin showed that majority of the goods imported during the quarter originated from China, valued at N2.009 billion or 29.34 billion.

 

This was followed by The Netherlands (N726.09 billion or 10.60 %), the United States (N608.12 or 8.88%) and others. For export, the value of total exports stood at N2.907billion, representing 29.79 per cent of total trade. “This value represented a decline of 8.99 per cent against the level recorded in Q4’20 and 29.26 per cent compared to Q1’20. Exports by section revealed that Nigeria exported mainly mineral products.

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