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Nigeria’s Motorcycle Imports Surge in Q1 2024, India Takes Top Spot

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Nigeria’s motorcycle imports witnessed a dramatic surge in the first quarter (Q1) of 2024, according to the latest foreign trade statistics report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). The import bill for motorcycles reached a staggering ₦117.4 billion, reflecting a significant 204% increase compared to N38.6 billion recorded in Q1 2023.

This substantial rise can be attributed, in part, to the depreciation of the Nigerian naira. However, the data also suggests a shift in import dynamics, with India emerging as the dominant supplier.

Rising Import Costs Despite Lower Dollar Value

While the import value in naira terms has surged, it’s important to note that the volume of motorcycles imported might not have necessarily increased proportionately. This is because the import value in dollar terms tells a slightly different story.

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In Q1 2023, with a more favourable exchange rate of ₦461/$1, motorcycle imports stood at $83.73 million. In contrast, Q1 2024 saw an import value of $89.69 million at the significantly weaker exchange rate of ₦1,309/$1. This suggests that the actual volume of motorcycles imported might be marginally lower this year compared to last year.

India Takes the Lead as Top Import Source

A key takeaway from the NBS data is the significant shift in import sources. India has established itself as the undisputed leader in motorcycle imports to Nigeria for Q1 2024. Motorcycles imported from India reached a value of ₦73.59 billion, accounting for a staggering 63% of the total import value in that period.

This dominance becomes even more apparent when compared to previous periods. Compared to Q1 2023, where India’s import value was ₦24.12 billion, the figure in Q1 2024 represents a remarkable 205% increase.

China’s Stagnant Growth Compared to India’s Surge

While China remains the second-highest import partner for motorcycles, its growth pales in comparison to India’s. In Q1 2023, Nigeria imported ₦13.64 billion worth of motorcycles from China. This figure increased to ₦40.18 billion in Q1 2024, reflecting a 195% rise. However, this increase is significantly lower than the one observed with India.

Italy’s Temporary Peak

The data also sheds light on the dynamic nature of Nigeria’s motorcycle import market. Examining Q4 2023 provides valuable context. During this period, Italy held the top spot with an import value of ₦105.88 billion, followed by China at ₦93.01 billion. India, with ₦51.83 billion, lagged behind both Italy and China in Q4 2023. This indicates a temporary surge in imports from Italy that did not sustain into Q1 2024.

India’s Dominance Likely to Continue

Despite the fluctuations observed in previous quarters, the data suggests India’s dominance in Nigeria’s motorcycle import market is likely to continue in the near future. While countries like Indonesia (₦3.64 billion) and Japan (₦22.49 million) play minor roles, India’s significant lead and consistent growth point towards a sustained market presence.

Read Also: $500 Million World Bank Loan to Boost Rural Roads and Agriculture in Nigeria

Motorcycle Import Impact on Local Market

This surge in motorcycle imports raises several questions for the future. The impact on the domestic motorcycle manufacturing industry and potential policy responses to regulate the import market are important areas for further analysis. Additionally, monitoring import trends in the coming quarters will provide a clearer picture of whether India’s dominance is a long-term shift or a temporary consequence of current economic conditions. However, with a fluctuating import landscape and a volatile naira, it remains to be seen if this trend will continue in the coming quarters.

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