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Nigeria’s foreign trade declines to N8.30 trillion 

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Records trade deficit twice consecutively
• Agric export gaining strength

Nigeria’s foreign trade volume fell from N10.12trillion in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2019 to N8.30trillion in Q1 2020, the latest report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), has shown.

NBS attributed the decline in total merchandise to impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, which has been ravaging the world economy.

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The report indicated that while total trade shed 17.94 per cent in Q1 2020 relative to Q4 2019, it, however, increased marginally by 0.80 per cent year-on-year.
 
Also, both imports and exports volume dropped during the period under review at N4.22trillion, and N4.08trillion, respectively.

Apapa Port, Lagos.

 
The value of total imports fell 21.08 per cent in Q1 2020 compared to Q4 2019 but was 13.99 per cent higher than Q1 2019.
      
Total exports fell 14.42 per cent in Q1 2020 relative to Q4 2019, and 9.98 per cent lower compared to Q1 2019.
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NBS also recorded a trade deficit of N138.98billion during the quarter, making two consecutive quarters of the negative balance of trade, as the value of imports surpassed exports. 

“It is worth noting that the consecutive quarters of negative trade balances (and lower imports and exports) occurred against the backdrop of a global slowdown in economic activity as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The global health crisis resulted in several countries implementing varying degrees of restrictions with respect to international trade, travel and tourism. When compared with the preceding quarter, the deficit in Q1 2020 represented an improvement by 76 per cent. On a year-on-year basis, however, the deficit was lower by 116.71 per cent,” it stated.
 
NBS revealed that the major exports trading partner was India, and China the major imports partner.
 
Top products imported were; motor spirit ordinary (17.2 per cent); gas oil (3.68 per cent); used vehicles (3.67 per cent); imported motorcycle (3.29 per cent); unused postage revenue or similar stamp (3.15 per cent).

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Top products exported were; petroleum oils (72.12 per cent); natural gas, liquefied (11.76 per cent); vessels and other floating structures for breaking up (8.90 per cent); sesame seed (1.20 per cent);  good fermented Nigerian cocoa beans (0.86 per cent).
 
Crude oil export was N2.94trillion or 72.12 per cent of total exports in Q1, which was 18.86 per cent lower than the Q4 2019 levels, and 12.8 per cent lower than Q1 2019 figure. 
 
The report further showed that about N1.13billion was recorded from non-crude oil or 27.9 per cent of total exports in Q1.
 
It added that: “During the quarter, total trade in Agricultural goods stood at N387.7billion (or 4.67 per cent) of the overall trade), of which exported agricultural goods accounted for N126.3billion. 
   
“Analysis by economic region showed that most Agricultural goods were exported to Asia and Europe, valued at N66.9billion or 52.98 per cent and N52.7billion or 41.68 per cent respectively.”

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