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Nigeria’s foreign trade deficit narrows to N1.9 trillion


Nigeria’s foreign trade deficit narrowed by 110.9 per cent to N1.87 trillion in the second quarter (Q2) compared with the first quarter on account of an increase in the value of oil export.

National Bureau of Statistics (NBS)

According to foreign trade data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the value of trade for the quarter stood at 12.03 trillion with exports accounting for 42.2 per cent or N5.08 trillion.


The export value is 75 per cent higher than the N2.91 billion recorded the previous quarter (Q1). The improvement came from sharp increase in crude export, which rose by 111.3 per cent, from N1.93 trillion posted in Q1 to 4.08 trillion.

Oil sales accounted for 80.3 per cent of the country’s exports, narrowing the non-oil margin to less than 20 per cent. The current administration has embarked on an aggressive campaign aimed at increasing the contribution of non-oil exports to reduce the concentration risk caused by crude dominance.

There was, however, a moderate increase in key areas of non-oil. For instance, the value of solid minerals exports increased by 60.1 per cent quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) and 852.9 per cent year-on-year (YoY) while raw material exports also were by 50 QoQ and 326.6 per cent YoY.


Agricultural commodity exports also recorded a significant improvement whereas the value of manufactured good exports dipped by 15.5 per cent QoQ and 16.7 per cent YoY.

“During quarter two, 2021 the total merchandise trade stood at N12.029 trillion representing a 23.28 per cent increase over the value N9.757 trillion recorded in Q1, 2021 and 88.71 per cent increase compared to Q2, 2020. This increase resulted from the sharp increase in export value during the quarter under review,” the report disclosed.

Despite the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), no African country is among Nigeria’s top trading partners.


India remained Nigeria’s top export trading partner with an 18.7 per cent share of the volume of goods exported in the period. The Asian country was followed by Spain, Canada, the Netherlands, and the United States.

On the flip side, China led the import-trading partner with near control of the total import volumes. India and the Netherlands followed with 8.2 and 8.2 per cent, while America and Russia had 7.6 and 4.09 per cent share to take the fourth and fifth position.

The report added: “During quarter two, 2021 total import was valued at N6.95 trillion representing 57.78 per cent of the total trade. This value rose by 1.45 per cent in Q2, 2021 compared to Q1, 2021, and 67.49 per cent compared to Q2, 2020. Imports by SITC revealed that machinery and transport equipment accounted for N2.495 trillion or 35.91 per cent of total import trade. This was followed by Chemicals and related products N1.274 trillion or 18.34 per cent, mineral fuel N1.11 trillion or 15.98 per cent, food and live animals N951.28billion or 13.69 per cent and manufactured goods N640.47 billion or 9.2 per cent.”


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