Nigeria’s trade deficit rises to N3tr

Nigeria’s trade deficit has ballooned by over 61 per cent quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) as it rose from N1.87 trillion in the second quarter (Q2) to N3.02 trillion in the last quarter (Q3).

In the last quarter, the country imported goods valued at N8.15 trillion, while its total export was valued at N5.13 trillion, bringing the total trade to N13.28 trillion as against N12.08 trillion recorded the preceding quarter.

These are contained in the Q3 foreign trade data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) yesterday.

The rise may have erased the gain recorded in the last quarter when the deficit declined by almost 53 per cent QoQ. It reduced from N3.9 trillion to N1.87 trillion.

According to the latest figures, the value of Nigeria’s foreign trade also appreciated slightly by 10.4 per cent, QoQ but jumped by 58.6 per cent YoY, that is when compared with Q3 2020 when the global economy was barely out of lockdown.

In the three months, crude oil export maintained its traditional lion’s share in the export value, accounting for N4.03 trillion or 78.5 per cent of the total export value. Non-crude oil exports were valued at N1.1 trillion, as non-oil products contributed only N546.27 billion.

“Nigeria’s imports stood at N8, 153.79 billion in Q3 2021. According to Standard International Trade Classifications, imports of machinery and transport equipment stood at N2, 753.66 billion (33.77 per cent) while imports of Mineral fuel amounted to N1, 501.8 billion (18.42 per cent). Chemicals and related products contributed N1, 418.62 billion (17.4 per cent) and food and live animals were valued at N 1,124.57 billion (13.79 per cent),” NBS said.

The report said Nigeria’s exported products were mostly to Europe (N2.23 trillion), Asia (N1.48 trillion), Africa (N668.22 billion) and America (N625.68 billion).

It added: “Among exports to Africa, N346.8 billion (51.9 per cent) of goods were exported to ECOWAS countries. In terms of country of destination, India remained the top exporting partner for Nigeria in the reviewing quarter. The five top export partners are India, Spain, Italy, France and the Netherlands, whose values stood at N758.18 billion (14.78 per cent), N627.01 billion (12.22 per cent), N446.04 billion (8.69 per cent), N363.23 billion (7.08 per cent) and N242.49 billion (4.73 per cent) respectively. These five countries accounted for 47.5 per cent of the total exports in Q3, 2021.”

China held sway as the leading import partner, accounting for almost 30 per cent (or N2.44 trillion) of the county’s total imports in the period. It was followed by India and the United States. While China held a large chunk of the country’s import bills, the Asian giant was not among the top 10 exporter partners. Also, Ivory Coast was the only African country in Nigeria’s 10 trading partners.

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