By James Emejo in Abuja
Nigeria’s total external trade increased significantly to N9.02 trillion in the third quarter of the year (Q3, 2018) compared to N6.90 trillion in the preceding quarter, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The increase indicated a rise of N2.12 trillion or 30.7 per cent against Q2 estimates.
The total value of export stood at N4.85 trillion, representing an increase of 7.8 per cent over the N4.50 trillion recorded in Q2 and 35.7 per cent over the N3.58 trillion in Q3, 2017.
On the other hand, the import component stood at N4.17 trillion in Q3, indicating a 73.8 per cent increase over the N2.40 trillion in the preceding quarter.
According to the Foreign Trade Statistics for the third quarter, which was released by the statistical agency Monday, the import position was “due to importation of submersible drilling platforms in August which was quite expensive and of course occasional importation.
“In the same way, there was a rise of 67.7 per cent when compared with the import value of the corresponding quarter in 2017”.
Consequently, it noted that the huge increase in import value had resulted into a decrease in the country’s trade balance from N2.10 trillion in Q2 to N681.3 billion in Q3 representing a decrease of 67.6 per cent.
The NBS added that the total trade within the first three quarters of the year stood at N23.14 trillion.
However, export trade was still oil dependent as crude oil exports stood at N4.14 trillion in Q3 and constituted the largest chunk of total exports at 85.4 per cent.
Conversely, the non-oil products accounted for 3.4 per cent, while other oil products accounted for 11.20 per cent of total exports in the period under review.
Meanwhile, India, Spain, France, South Africa and the Netherlands emerged as the country’s major export trading partners accounting for 15.76 per cent; 10.76 per cent; 10.31 per cent; 6.91 per cent and 5.69 per cent of total share of export respectively.
However, South Korea, China, the Netherlands, Belgium and the United States of America (USA) were the country’s major import trading partners with percentage share of 29.11 per cent; 14.17 per cent; 11.58 per cent; 6.99 per cent and 5.37 per cent respectively.
Europe accounted for 41.9 per cent of the country’s exports; Africa, 14.7 per cent; Americas, 15 per cent; Asia, 28 per cent and Oceania, 0.3 per cent.
However, Nigeria’s import was from Europe, 35.2 per cent; America, 8.4 per cent; Africa, 3.3 per cent; Asia, 52.4 per cent and Oceania, 0.6 per cent.