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Nigerian Foreign Trade declined in Q1 2020, China top list of import origin


CEM Report, Lagos
Nigeria’s total volume of trade declined by 17.94% in Q1 2020 to N8.3 trillion from N10.12 trillion recorded in Q4 2019, Nigerian Bureau of Statistics revealed in the 2020 first quarter foreign trade report released Wednesday.

This value is however 0.80% higher than the value recorded in Q1,2019, the report added

The fall in volume of trade in Q1, 2020 is the first in five quarters. Volume of trade had consistently maintained a rise since 4th quarter of 2018 with Q4 2018 (N8.04tr), Q1 2019 (N8.24tr), Q2 2019 (N8.61tr), Q3 2019 (N9.19tr) and Q4 2019 (N10.12r).


During the quarter, total trade in Agricultural goods stood at N387.7billion (or 4.67% of the overall trade) while trade in solid mineral goods stood at N22.98 billion in Q1, 2020. Manufactured goods accounted for N3.11 trillion or 37.40% volume of trade in Q1, 2020 while trade in raw material stood at N341.1billion

According to the report, the import component of this trade was valued at N4.22 trillion or 50.8% while the export component totaled N4.08 trillion indicating 49.2% of the total trade. A trade deficit of N138.98 billion was recorded during the quarter, marking two consecutive quarters of negative balance of trade, as the value of imports surpassed exports.

This was attributed to the global slowdown in economic activity as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The global health crisis resulted in several countries implementing varying degrees of restrictions with respect to international trade, travel and tourism.

When compared with the preceding quarter, the deficit in Q1 2020 represented an improvement by 76%. On a year –on-year basis however, the deficit was lower by 116.71%.

As expected, Crude oil accounted for N2.94 trillion representing 72.12% of total exports in Q1,2020. The value of crude oil export was 18.86% less than the value recorded in Q4, 2019 and 12.80% lower than the value recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2019. Non crude oil exports was valued at N1.13 trillion representing 27.9% of total exports during the period under review.

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Volume of import dropped by 21.08% in Q1, 2020 from Q4, 2019 figure, while it increased by 13.99% when compared with Q1, 2019.

This was attributed to decreases in machinery and transport equipment as well as Chemicals and related products import. Machinery and transport equipment import stood at (N1.75 trillion) which represents 35.5% less than (N2.71 trillion) recorded in Q4  2019. Chemicals and related products import stood at (N398.7billion) representing a decrease of 30.5% over (N573.98billion) recorded in Q4,2019 and crude inedible materials (N43.5 billion) representing 22.2% less than ( N55.9billion) recorded in Q4,2019.

By continent of origin, import from Asia dominated valued at N1.97 trillion or 46.58%, followed by Europe, valued at N1.53 trillion or 36.35%. Other major imports originated from America and Africa amounted to N580.2billion or 13.74% and N118.95billion or 2.82% respectively. Import from Oceania stood at N21.6billion or 0.51% while goods valued at N28.3billion originated from ECOWAS.

China top the list by country of origin with N1.11 trillion or 26.28%. Others are Netherlands (N470.11billion or 11.14%), United States (N441.06 billion or 10.45%), India (N334.53 or 7.92%) and Belgium (N257.89 or 6.11%)

On the export side, Nigeria exported less by 14.42% relative to Q4,2019 and 9.98% compared to Q1,2019.

Most Nigeria’s export was to Europe amounting to N1.57 trillion or 38.43% of total exports, followed by Asia (N1.28 trillion or 31.28%), Africa (N978.21billion or 23.96%), America (N214.12billion or 5.24%) and Oceania (N44.14billion or 1.08%).

Within the period, India imported the highest volume goods valued at N637.5 billion or 15.61% from Nigeria followed by Spain (N402.9billion or 9.87%). Others are Netherlands (N396.9billion or 9.72%), South Africa (N319.5 billion or 7.82%) and Cameroon (N301.8billion or 7.39%).

The report stated that Sesamum seeds at N49.1billion led Agro export in Q1 2020. Total trade in Agricultural goods stood at N387.7billion (or 4.67% of the overall trade), of which exported agricultural goods accounted for N126.3billion.

Sesamum seeds worth N9.8billion, N9.5 billion and N9.3billion were exported to Japan, Turkey and China respectively

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