By James Emejo
The country’s external merchandise trade declined by 27.30 per cent to N6.24 trillion in the second quarter of the year (Q2 2020) compared to N8.59 trillion in the preceding quarter, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) stated Wednesday.
The performance further indicated a drop of 27.46 per cent when compared to Q2 2019 when the country recorded N8.61 trillion in trade.
According to the Foreign Trade in Goods Statistics (Q2 2020) report released by the statistical agency, the country posted a trade deficit of N1.80 trillion, marking the third consecutive quarter of negative trade balance.
The total trade within the year however stood at N14.82 trillion, indicating a drop of 11.96 per cent compared to half year 2019.
The value of imports stood at N4.02 trillion, representing a drop of 10.69 per cent in Q2 compared to N4.50 trillion recorded in Q1, but an increase of 0.39 per cent year-on-year.
According to the NBS, the value of exports amounted to N2.21 trillion of total trade, indicating a decline of 45.64 per cent compared to the N4.08 trillion posted in the preceding quarter and 51.73 per cent compared to Q2 2019.
According to the report, trade in goods deficit stood at N421.3 billion in Q1 compared to N579.06 billion recorded in Q4 2019.
The value of imported agricultural goods rose by 59.01 per cent in the review period compared to 66.28 per cent in Q1 2019 as raw material imports increased by 85.69 per cent in Q2 compared to Q1 and 64.69 per cent year on year.
On the other hand, total exports fell by 45.64 per cent in Q2 as agricultural goods export dropped by 38.2 per cent.
The NBS stated that raw material goods export recorded a decrease of 56.2 per cent in the period under review.
The total trade in agricultural goods stood at N493.7 billion, of which exported agricultural goods accounted for N78.1 billion.
Trade in raw material stood at N585.4 billion with import and export components valued at N570.6 billion and N14.8 billion respectively.
However, Spain, India, France, China and the Netherlands were the country’s five major trade partners in terms of exports within the period.