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Foreign Trade Moves Up Marginally by 2%

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Non-oil export

CEM REPORT, TRADE | Nigeria’s foreign trade increased marginally by 2.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2023 (Q1’23).

The nation recorded a total foreign trade of N12.05 trillion compared to N11.72 trillion recorded in Q4’22.

This is according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) recently published report on the nation’s Foreign Trade Statistics for Q1’23.


The NBS attributed IT to a marginal increase in import and export trade resulting in a positive trade balance.

On a year-on-year comparison, the nation’s foreign trade declined 17.5 per cent N14.6 trillion recorded in Q1 2022.

This decline may be linked to the poor economic activity in the nation as a result of the acute cash shortage the nation suffered in Q1’23, which affected most economic sectors.

According to the report, total exports stood at N6.5 trillion and total imports amounted to N5.6 trillion.

Total exports increased by 2 per cent in the review quarter but declined by 8.66 per cent when compared to the amount recorded in Q4 2022 at N6,359.61 billion and Q1 of 2022 at N7,102.11 billion, respectively.

The report also noted that total imports increased by 3.67 per cent in Q1’23 compared to the value recorded in Q4 2022 at N5,362.83 billion. However, it fell by 25.83 per cent when compared to the value recorded in Q1 2022 at N7,495.67 billion.

The NBS said re-exports value in the quarter under review stood at N32.17 billion representing 0.50 per cent of total exports.

Nigeria imported petrol worth N1.49 trillion in the review quarter, accounting for 26.8% of the total import during the period.

According to the NBS, the country recorded an average daily oil production of 1.51 million barrels per day (mbpd) in Q1’23, higher than the daily average production of 1.49mbpd recorded in the same quarter of 2022.

Furthermore, the report explained that Cameroon, Ghana, Equatorial Guinea, the United Kingdom, and Liberia were the top five re-export destinations.

The most re-exported commodity in the quarter were vessels and other floating structures for breaking amounting to N21.07 billion.

“This was followed by light vessels, fire floats, floating cranes, and other vessels valued at N4.71 billion.

“Followed by this were other instruments and appliances for surveying amounting to N0.93 billion and parts of work-truck of the type used in factories, warehouses, dock areas or airports valued at N0.85 billion.”

The report detailed that the top five export destinations in Q1’23 were the Netherlands accounting for 12.91 per cent, followed by the USA at 8.93 per cent.

“This was followed by Spain at 7.53 per cent, France at 7.51 per cent, and India at 7.04 per cent of total exports.

“Altogether, exports to the top five countries amounted to 43.92 per cent of the total value of exports.”

The NBS report stated that the commodity with the largest export values in the review quarter was petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude at N5,148.58 billion representing 79.37 per cent.

“This was followed by ‘Natural gas, liquefied’ at N622.36 billion accounting for 9.59 per cent, and ‘Urea, whether or not in aqueous solution’ at N146.79 billion or 2.26 per cent of total exports.”

In terms of Imports, the report said in Q1’23, China, The Netherlands, Belgium, India, and the USA were the top five countries of origin of imports to Nigeria.

It said the value of imports from the top five countries amounted to N3.2 trillion representing a share of 55.78 per cent of the total value of imports.

“The commodities with the largest values of imported products were Motor Spirit Ordinary at N1,492.28 billion, Gas Oil at N472.40 billion and Durum Wheat (not in seeds) at N249.22 billion.”

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