James Emejo in Abuja
Nigeria’s external merchandise trade rose to N9.19 trillion in the third quarter of the year (Q3, 2019) compared to N8.61 trillion in the preceding quarter, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The performance represented 6.77 per cent increase over the value recorded in Q2 at N8.61 trillion and 1.33 per cent increase relative to the N9.07 trillion in Q3, 2018.
The period was characterised by higher exports and lower imports, as the former accounted for N5.29 trillion or 15.02 per cent compared to the N4.60 trillion in Q2 estimates and 8.97 per cent when compared with the N4.85 trillion in corresponding quarter of 2018.
Conversely, the import component stood at N3.90 trillion, representing a drop by 2.70 per cent in Q3 compared to N4.01 trillion in Q2 and 7.47 per cent when compared to the N4.21 trillion Q3, 2018.
The NBS, in the Foreign Trade Statistics for Q3 2019, further noted that increase in exports coupled with the decrease in imports led to a positive trade balance of N1.39 trillion during the period under review.
According to the statistical agency, crude oil continued to dominate the country’s export trade, accounting for 70.87 per cent or N3.74 trillion of the value of total exports, while non-crude oil exports amounted to 29.13 per cent or N1.54 trillion).
The NBS, however, noted that the value of crude oil exports was 4.7 per cent lower than Q2 and 9.6 per cent lower than the corresponding quarter of 2018.
The report however indicated that the value of exports to Africa and ECOWAS was notably high in Q3 due to exports of cable sheaths of iron and submersible drilling platforms to Ghana.
Exports by country of destination showed that Nigeria’s export to Ghana stood at N908.6billion or 17.18 per cent of total exports) followed by India, N775.7 billion or 14.67 per cent, the Netherlands (N519.3 billion or 9.8 per cent, Spain, N454.7 billion or 8.6 per cent and the United States (N332.2billion or 6.3 per cent.
In Q3, the value of imported agricultural products was 4.01 per cent lower than the preceding quarter, but 7.21 per cent higher than Q3, 2018.
The value of raw material imports decreased 4.64 per cent in Q3 relative to Q2 but increased 16.81 per cent when compared to Q3 2018.
It stated that the value of solid minerals imports was 31.73 per cent lower than the value in Q2, but 7.05 per cent higher than the value recorded in Q3 2018.
The value of energy goods imports increased by 243.92 per cent in Q3 and 286.91 per cent relative to Q3, 2018 due to increased import of other wood charcoal, electrical energy and Charcoal of bamboo. The report added that value of imported manufactured goods grew by 12.46 per cent in Q3, against the value recorded in Q2 but decreased by 3.48 per cent when compared to Q3, 2018.