• Country’s trade balance rises to N1.23tn in Q3
Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja
India has continued to remain the largest importer of Nigeria’s crude oil, purchasing oil valued at N550.88 billion from Nigeria in the third quarter of last year, a report released Tuesday by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has indicated.
The third quarter 2017 foreign trade figures by the statistical bureau also showed that despite the discovery of shale oil in the United State, Nigeria exported crude oil valued at N457.732 billion to the U.S. in the third quarter of last year.
Crude exports to the U.S. put the country as the second highest buyer of Nigeria’s crude oil after India.
Other major buyers included Spain, Netherlands, France and Indonesia, which imported oil valued at N298.73 billion, N220.52 billion, N178.18 billion and N162.1 billion, respectively, from Nigeria.
South Africa, Canada, United Kingdom and Italy also purchased Nigeria’s crude oil valued at N161.5 billion, N148.9 billion, N107.5 billion and N100.9 billion, respectively, the report showed.
The NBS pointed out that the structure of Nigeria’s export trade was still dominated by crude oil exports, accounting for N2.972 trillion or 83.17 per cent of total exports in the third quarter of 2017.
Also in the period under review, Nigeria earned N397 billion as Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), otherwise known as cooking gas, and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) export proceeds.
A breakdown showed that the country exported N386.028 billion of LNG and cooking gas valued at N11.835 billion.
According to the NBS report, total earnings from gas exports during the review period amounted to N483.4 billion, including other gaseous components as well as LNG and LPG.
For other petroleum gases, exports stood at N30.8 billion, liquefied propane, N19.113 billion, and N14.71 billion for naphthalene.
The country also exported liquefied butane worth N13.71 billion, other LPGs, and other gaseous hydrocarbons valued at N7.199 billion.
The NBS stated that exports by sector revealed that Nigeria exported mainly mineral products, which accounted for N3.475 trillion or 97.2 per cent of total exports.
The second largest component was prepared foodstuff, beverages, spirits and vinegar and tobacco, which contributed N25.81 billion or 0.7 per cent of total exports.
The NBS report said: “In the third quarter, Nigeria exported most products to Europe, with an export value of N1.293 trillion, Asia N1.035 trillion and America N826.98 billion. The value of exports to Africa was only N367.28 billion, among which N114.93 billion in goods were exported to ECOWAS countries.”
The nation’s total exports in the third quarter of 2017 were put at N3.573 trillion, representing a 15.19 per cent growth compared to the second quarter of 2017, and a 53.85 per cent growth compared to the third quarter in 2016.
The NBS added that total imports in the third quarter decreased to N2.349 trillion, representing a decline of 9.41 per cent quarter-on-quarter and 4.47 per cent on a year-on-year basis.
The statistical agency noted that Nigeria’s trade balance in the third quarter of 2017 amounted to N1.225 trillion, due to the continued increase in exports and a decline in imports.
“This figure in the third quarter more than doubled the value in the previous quarter and it is the first time that the trade balance exceeded N1 trillion since the last quarter of 2014,” the NBS report stated.