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Breaking: Nigeria records N8.9tn trade fall in nine months, expert blames insecurity

Nigeria recorded a negative trade balance of N8.9tn, between January and September, 2021, data from the National Bureau of Statistics have shown.

Within this period, total foreign trade stood at N35.09tn, comprising N22tn imports and N13.1tn exports, leading to N8.9tn trade deficit.

A breakdown of the trade data by quarters shows that Nigeria’s total merchandise trade stood at N9.76tn in the first quarter of the year representing 6.99 per cent increase over the value recorded in Q4 2020.

The export component of this trade stood at N2.91tn, representing 29.79 per cent of the total trade in Q1 while import was valued at N6.85tn representing 70.21 per cent.

The higher level of imports over exports resulted in a trade deficit (in goods) of N3.94tn in Q1 2021.

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The value of crude oil export stood at N1.93tn representing 66.38 per cent of the total export recorded in Q1, 2021, while non-crude oil export accounted for 33.62 per cent of the total export.

Data from the Bureau showed that majority of the goods imported during this period originated from China, valued at N2tn, followed by the Netherlands (N726.09bn), the United States (N608.12bn), India (N589.1bn) and Belgium (N238.5bn).

Similarly, Nigeria’s top export trade partners in Q1 were India (N488.1bn), Spain (N287.2bn), China (N190.1bn), the Netherlands ( and France (N133bn).

However, in the second quarter of the year, Nigeria’s trade deficit fell to N1.87tn as exports jumped to N5.08tn against imports of N6.95tn.

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The value of imports and exports in Q2 brought total merchandise trade to N12.03tn, representing a 23.28 per cent increase from the N9.7tn recorded in Q1.

The NBS said crude oil, the major component of export trade, stood at N4.08tn (80.29 per cent) of total export.

It further said crude oil value had a sharp increase of 111.32 per cent in Q2 compared to the N1.93tn recorded in Q1 2021, while the non-crude oil goods recorded N1tn (19.71 per cent) of total export trade during Q2 2021.

Further analysis of data from the bureau shows that the majority of imported goods in Q2 2021 originated from China with a value of N2.08tn, followed by India with N570.01bn, Netherlands (N557.15bn), United States (N526.92bn), and Russia (N284.36bn).

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Meanwhile, most goods were exported to India (949.05bn), Spain (N524.49bn), Canada (N355.60bn), Netherlands (N298.29bn), and the United States (N256.63bn).

The NBS on Monday revealed that Nigeria’s trade deficit rose to N3.03tn in the third quarter of the year.

According to the Statistician General of the Federation, Simon Harry, who disclosed this in a press briefing held in Abuja, total trade in the review period rose to N13.3tn, comprising N8.2tn imports and N5.1tn exports.

The NBS noted that the rise in imports was driven majorly by increase in the importation of commodities such as motor spirits (N1.1tn), Gas Oil (N225.6bn), imported motorcycles and cycles and CKD valued at N116.3bn from N94.7bn respectively.

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