Nigeria records trade deficit of N138.98 bn in Q1 2020—NBS

National Bureau of Statistics has reported that Nigeria’s total trade declined 17.94 per cent in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the value recorded in the last quarter of 2019 but increased marginally by 0.80 per cent year on year. It said “The value of Nigeria’s total trade stood at N8.3048trillion in Q1,2020. This was 17.94 per cent lower than the value recorded in Q4, 2019 but 0.80% higher than the value recorded in Q1,2019.The import component of this trade was valued at N4.2219 trillion or 50.8%  while the export component totalled N4.0829trillion indicating 49.2 per cent of the total trade. 


A trade deficit of N138.98billion was recorded during the quarter, marking two consecutive quarters of negative balance of trade, as the value of imports surpassed exports. It is worth noting that the consecutive quarters of negative trade balances, and lower imports and exports, occurred against the backdrop of a global slowdown in economic activity as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The global health crisis resulted in several countries implementing varying degrees of restrictions with respect to international trade, travel and tourism. When compared with the preceding quarter, the deficit in Q1 2020 represented an improvement by 76 per cent. On a year –on-year basis however, the deficit was lower by 116.71 per cent.

According to the NBS report “the value of imported Agricultural goods was 12.02 per cent more in Q1 2020 than in Q4, 2019 and 10.62 per cent more than Q1, 2019. The value of raw material imports decreased by 8.49 per cent in Q1,2020 relative to Q4 2019, and 6.91% compared to the corresponding quarter in 2019. The value of solid minerals imports was 15.65% higher in Q1,2020 than the preceding quarter and 20.05% compared to the corresponding quarter in 2019”. It also said that the value of manufactured goods imports decreased by 31.98% in Q1,2020 compared to Q4 2019, and 4.03% when compared with Q1,2019. According to the report “The value of energy goods decreased by 72.18% in Q1,2020 on a quarter on quarter basis, and 91.58% year on year. Also the value of other oil products imports was 14.21% higher in Q1, 2020 than in Q4, 2019 and 180.05% higher when compared with the corresponding quarter of 2019.  

The NBS report further said that “Total export value decreased 14.42% in Q1,2020 compared to the value recorded in Q4,2019 and 9.98% compared to Q1,2019. The value of Agricultural goods exports grew 85.36% in Q1,2020 compared to Q4,2019 and 46.76% compared to Q1, 2019.  The value of Raw material exports increased 60.17% in Q1,2020 relative to last quarter but decreased by 7.08% year on year while the value of Solid minerals exports was 16.31% lower in Q1,2020 relative to Q4 2019 and 82.17%

less than the value recorded in Q1, 2019. Manufactured goods exports decreased by 12.72% in value in Q1,2020 compared to Q4,2019 and  3.86% compared to Q1, 2019. Crude oil exports decreased by 18.86% in Q1, 2020 compared to Q4, 2019 and 12.80% compared  to Q1, 2019. Other oil products export decreased by 1.47% in value in Q1,2020 compared to Q4, 2019 and  4.89% compared to Q1, 2019. Energy goods exports were 16.76% lower in Q1, 2020 than the value recorded in Q4,2019 and 53.05% lower than the value recorded in Q1, 2019”.

It said that “Crude oil, Nigeria’s dominant export, accounted for N2.944.6billion representing 72.12% of total exports in Q1,2020. The value of crude oil export was 18.86% less than the value recorded in Q4, 2019 and 12.80% lower than the value recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2019. Non crude oil exports was valued at N1,138.3billion representing 27.9% of total exports during the period under review. The NBS report said that the value of exported agricultural goods stood at N126.35 billion in Q1 2020, indicating 85.36% increase compared to N68.16 billion recorded in Q4 2019. The majorly traded agricultural products include; Sesamum seeds, Good fermented cocoa beans, superior quality raw cocoa beans, Natural cocoa butter, Cashew nuts, Ginger etc. In Q1 2020, Nigeria exported goods majorly to India, Spain, Netherlands, South Africa and Cameroon while our major Import sources include China, Netherlands, United States, India and Belgium. India accounted for 15.61% (N637.53 billion) of the total value of exported goods by region, followed by Spain which accounted for 9.87% (N402.93 billion) of our total exports between January and March 2020. Top Nigeria’s export nations are India – 15.61%; Spain – 9.87%; Netherlands – 9.72%; South Africa – 7.82% and Cameroon – 7.82%

Nigeria’s export to ECOWAS member states between January and March 2020, was estimated at N296.29 billion, representing 30.29% of the total export to Africa while Other regions of the continent accounted for 69.71% (N681.92 billion) to the total export. In the same vein, Nigeria imported goods valued at N1.11 trillion from China, accounting for 26.28% of the total value of exported items in the first quarter of 2020. The Netherlands followed, having accounted for 11.14% (470.11 billion) of the total export. Imports from African countries stood at N118.95 billion in Q1 2020, representing 2.82% of Nigeria’s total import between January and March 2020.Business News Report

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