Total trade in Nigeria declined by 17.94 per cent to N8.304 billion in Q1 2020 compared to Q4 2019. The decline was driven by a drop in both total imports and export value which fell by 21.08 per cent and 14.42 per cent quarter on quarter, recording a deficit of N138.98 billion according to the latest report released by the Centre for the Study of Economies of Africa (CSEA).
Findings from the report showed that a decline in total trade was recorded in energy and manufactured goods. While the value of agricultural goods exported grew by 85.36 per cent quarter on quarter, and the value of agricultural imports by 12.02 per cent concurrently.
Also, trade in Q1 2020, although marginally higher than Q1 2019 total trade, reflects the lower economic activity experienced during the quarter.
“The volume of trade is expected to continue to decline as economies across the world turn inwards due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the private sector can leverage on the pandemic to boost trade in services such as ICT services, as well as professional, scientific, and technical services which are more resistant to political and economic forces that threaten trade in goods,” the report advised, adding that given the large wage differentials in the service industry across countries, Nigeria stands to benefit from a service-based global integration.