Nigeria records negative trade balance, trade plunges by N793.9bn in Q1

By Odunewu Segun

The total value of Nigeria’s merchandise trade at the end of first quarter of 2016 has plunged by about N793.9 billion from what obtained in the preceding quarter, Nigeria Bureau of Statistics, NBS, has stated.

In its first quarter data released on Tuesday titled ‘Foreign Trade Statistics for the First Quarter of 2016,’ the NBS stated that the total value of Nigeria’s merchandise trade at the end of first quarter of 2016 stood at N2,723.9 billion. It said that from the preceding quarter value of N3, 517.4 billion, this was N793.5billion or 22.6 per cent less.

According to the report, the development arose due to a sharp decline in both imports and exports. The report stated that exports saw a decline of N671.1 billion or 34.6 per cent, while imports declined by N122.4 billion or 7.8 per cent.

“The steep decline in exports brought the country’s trade balance down to N184.1 billion, or N548.7bilIion less than in the preceding quarter. The crude oil component of total trade decreased by N716.7 billion or 46.6 per cent against the level recorded in fourth quarter of 2015,” the report said.

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Meanwhile, the reports said that Nigeria’s import trade by direction showed that the country imported goods mostly from China, with an import value of N345.5 billion or 23.8 per cent of total imports.

It said that China was followed by the United States at N127.1 billion or 8.7 per cent while India with N89.4 billion or 6.1 per cent. “Netherlands followed India with N73.8 billion or 5.1 per cent and United Kingdom with N61.4 billion or 4.2 per cent of total imports. Imports by economic region revealed that the country consumed goods largely from Asia with import value of N611.2 billion or 42.0 per cent,” it said.

The report further said that the value of the export trade, totaled N1, 269.9 billion in first quarter of 2016.

“This is showing a decrease of N671.1 billion or 34.6 per cent over the value recorded in the preceding quarter. Year-on-Year analysis shows that the country’s exports dropped by N1, 395.2 billion or 52.3 per cent as against the export value recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2015.”