The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), has revealed that Nigeria’s total merchandise trade increased by 39.31 percent to N32.26 trillion (year on year) in 2018. This is in comparison to N23.16 trillion in 2017.
The agency noted that the volume of total merchandise trade in 2018 was the highest recorded since 2014, and almost doubled the pre-recession levels.
Conversely, total trade dropped by 5.1 percent to N8.60 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2018 (Q4 2018) compared to N9.06 trillion recorded in the preceding quarter, the NBS noted. Records from the Foreign Trade Statistics in Goods (Q4 2018), which was released by the statistical agency at the weekend, indicated that total export stood at N5.02 trillion in Q4, representing an increase of 3.5 percent over Q3 and 28.5 percent over Q4, 2017.
The import component stood at N3.58 trillion in Q4, indicating a decline of N631.6 billion or 15 percent when compared to Q3 estimates, but showed an increase of 69.6 percent when compared with the corresponding quarter in 2017. NBS said the increase in export value and a decrease in import value (relative to Q3 2018) resulted in a favorable trade balance of N1441 billion or 125.5 percent over the preceding quarter.
However, crude oil export, which stood at N4.22 trillion, remained the mainstay of the economy and took the largest share of total exports (84.2 percent) in Q4. The non-oil products accounted for 4.6 percent of total exports, while other oil products accounted for 11.2 percent of total exports in the review period.
According to NBS, the value of total exports in Q4 increased by 3.52 percent compared to the level recorded in Q3 and was 28.46 percent higher than Q4 2017 estimates. Agricultural exports rose by 115.1 percent in Q4 compared to Q3 2018 and 696.8 percent compared to Q4 2017. NBS further stated that the value of raw material goods exports in Q4 was 26.7 percent higher than the value in Q3 and 7.7 percent higher than the value recorded in Q4 2017. It stated that the value of solid minerals exports decreased by 20.6 percent compared to Q3 estimates and 67.7 percent against the corresponding quarter in 2017. Exports of energy goods increased in value by 6.1 percent in Q4 compared to Q3 and by 12.7 percent when compared with Q4 2017.
Furthermore, the value of manufactured goods exports rose by 14.97 percent in Q4 when compared with the value recorded in Q3, but decreased by 36.6 percent against the corresponding quarter in 2017. The value of crude oil exports in Q4 was 1.98 percent higher than in Q3 2018 and 29.95 percent higher than in Q4 2017. In the intervening time, India, Spain, France, South Africa and the Netherlands constituted the country’s major export trading partners in Q4 while China, the United States, Netherlands, India and Belgium were the major import trading partners.