05 March 2017, Abuja — Nigeria’s total value of external merchandise trade rose to N5.28 trillion in the fourth quarter of last year (Q4 2016) compared to N4.78 trillion in the previous quarter, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has said.
According to the NBS, this is the first quarterly positive trade balance to be recorded since the fourth quarter of 2015
Total export was valued at N2.98 trillion compared to N2.43 trillion in the previous quarter. Total import, however, fell to N2.31 trillion in Q4, representing 6.1 percent decrease from N2.46 trillion in Q3.
Crude oil exports totalled N2.43 trillion while the Non-crude oil exports accounted for N553.57 billion as well as Non-oil exports, which recorded N129.55 billion in Q4.
According to the NBS, the much faster rise in the value of exports relative to the rise in imports brought the country’s trade balance to N671.3 billion during the review period, showing a stark improvement from the negative trade balance of N-136.0 billion recorded in the preceding quarter.
It added that the positive trade index came as a result of the rise of N656.3 billion or 28.3 per cent, in the value of exports combined with a decline of N150.9 billion or 6.1 per cent in the value of imports against the levels recorded in the preceding quarter.
For the full year, however, total trade stood at N17.34 trillion or 6.47 percent more than the N16.30 trillion recorded in 2015 and N23.67 trillion in 2014.
Total exports for 2016 stood at N8.53 trillion compared to N9.59 trillion in 2015 while total imports stood at N8.82 trillion compared to N6.69 trillion in 2015.
As a result, the country recorded a negative trade balance of -N290.13 billion in 2016 compared to the trade surplus of N2.895 trillion in 2015 and surplus of N8.92 trillion in 2014.
In 2016, crude oil exports accounted for N6.99 trillion while the non-crude oil exports accounted for N1.53 trillion as well as non-oil exports of N344.37 billion.
In Q4, however, India, the Netherlands, and the United States of America accounted for 16 percent, 11.2 percent and 10.6 percent of total exports respectively.
On the other hand, China, Belgium, and the Netherlands accounted for 17.5 per cent, 15.4 percent and 10 percent of Nigeria’s import in Q4.
Interestingly, Nigeria exported goods mainly to India, Netherlands, the United States, Spain and South Africa, whose values stood at N475.6 billion or 16.0 percent, N334.2 billion or 11.2 percent, N317.2 billion or 10.6 percent, N286.8 billion or 9.6 percent, and N160.4 billion or 5.4 per cent respectively in Q4 2016.
The natural liquefied gas recorded N351.4 billion of the total export value during the period under review.
*James Emejo – Thisday