NBS: Foreign Trade Rises to N8.37tn in Q3

Records N2.38tn deficit

By James Emejo

The value of Nigeria’s merchandise trade stood at N8.37 trillion in third quarter of the year (Q3 2020) representing an increase 34.15 per cent compared to N6.24 trillion in the preceeding quarter.

This, however, indicated a decline of 8.85 per cent compared to Q3, 2019 when it recorded N9.19 trillion.

According to the trade statistics for Q3 2020 which was released yesterday by the statistical agency, total trade year to date amounted to N23.20 trillion.

The import component was valued at N5.38 trillion, representing an increase of 33.77 per cent in Q3 against the N4.02 trillion in Q2 and 38.02 per cent or N3.90 trillion in Q3, 2019.

The value of imports in Q3represented the highest level for any quarter since 2017, the NBS added.

The export component accounted for N2.99 trillion of the total trade indicating an increase of 34.85 per cent compared to the N2.22 trilion in Q2 but a decrease of 43.41 per cent compared N5.29 trillion Q3, 2019.

Aside from Q2 2020, the value of exports in Q3 2020 represented the lowest level of any quarter since 2017, according to the statistical agency.

It however stated that, “Due to lower exports and higher imports compared to 2019, the trade balance recorded a deficit of N2.38 trillion during the third quarter. This also represents the widest merchandise trade deficit since 2017.

“When compared to the deficit of N1.80 trillion recorded in Q2, the Q3 deficit rose by 32.45 per cent.”

Also, crude oil exports grew in value by 56 per cent in Q3 compared to Q2, 2020 but decreased in value by 35.3 per cent year-on-year.

The value of solid minerals exports registered an increase of 253 per cent in the review period compared to

Q2 but a decrease of 12.2 per cent compared to Q3 2019 while manufactured goods export decreased by 47.7 per cent in Q3 against the level recorded in

Q2 and a considerable decline of 86.7 per cent compared with the corresponding quarter in 2019.

In addition, mineral products exports accounted for the largest proportion of exports, amounting to N2.78 trillion 93.1 per cent of total trade.

According to the NBS, this was due to the crude oil component of the section. This was followed by Vehicles aircraft and parts (N103.4 billion or 3.5 per cent) and others.

Analysis of export by region revealed that Nigeria exported mostly to Europe (N1.23 trillion or 41.3 per cent), followed by Asia N1.11 trillion or 37 per cent), Africa (N442.3billion or 15 per cent), and America (N150.86 billion or 5 per cent).

Within Africa, goods worth N182.4billion was exported to ECOWAS member states with value of exports at N2.99 trillion showing an increase of 34.85 per cent compared to Q2, but a decrease of 43.41 per cent compared to Q3, 2019.

Year to date, value of total export amounted to N9.29 trillion, the NBS stated.

India remains Nigeria’s major trade partner accounting for 16.73 per cent of exports followed by Spain with 10.97 per cent and the Netherlands with 7.61 per cent.

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