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Nigeria’s trade deficit exceed N7 trillion

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China retains 28% of import value

Nigeria’s external imbalance continues to widen as the trade deficit for 2020 hit N7.38 trillion.

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Of the total yearly foreign trade value of N32.42 trillion, export accounted for N12.52 trillion (or 39 per cent) as against N19.89 trillion import bills.

According to the foreign trade data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) yesterday, the 2020 figure was 10.3 per cent lower than the 2019 record.

“On an annual basis, total trade was valued at N32, 420.7 billion in 2020 or 10.3 per cent less than the value recorded in 2019. The value of total imports in 2020 stood at N19, 898 billion, or 17.3 per cent higher than in 2019 while total exports were valued at N12, 522.7 billion or 34.8 per cent less than in 2019. The annual merchandise trade deficit in 2020 was recorded at -N7, 375.3 billion,” the report noted.

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Crude oil has continued to dominate the country’s exports by a disturbing margin as it accounted for 9.44 trillion last year, an equivalent of 75 per cent of the total value of export.

Nigeria’s total foreign trade for the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2020 rose to N9.12 trillion, representing an increase of 8.88 per cent compared to N8.38 trillion recorded in the previous quarter.

According to the report, imports stood at N5.93 trillion, 10.1 per cent increase compared to N5.38 trillion recorded in Q3 2020 whereas exports also rose by 6.72 per cent to N3.19 trillion, from N2.99 trillion in the previous quarter.

As in recent times, China maintains its dominance as Nigeria’s leading import trading partner, receiving a total of 28.3 per cent value of import leakage for Q4 of 2020. It was followed by India and the United States with 8.5 per cent and 7.6 per cent respectively. The Netherlands came fourth with 7.2 per cent of the value of imports coming from the European country while Demark came next with 5.4 per cent.

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On the flip side, India led Nigeria’s top exporters with 17.1 per cent of the figures of the fourth quarter of the year. India was joined by Spain, South Africa, The Netherlands and the United States. South Africa is only Africa’s country on the top five trading partner list for the quarter.

NBS disclosed: “The value of imported agricultural products was 5.75% higher in Q4, 2020 than in Q3,2020 and 128.17% higher compared with the corresponding quarter of 2019. For 2020, the value of agricultural imports was 78.6% higher than recorded in 2019. The value of raw material imports grew marginally by 0.75 per cent in Q4,2020 compared to Q3, 2020 but was 113.12 per cent higher compared to Q4, 2019. For 2020, the value of raw material imports was 72.5 per cent higher than the value recorded in 2019.

“The value of Solid minerals imports was 16.82% lower in Q4, 2020 than its value in Q3, 2020 but 58.59 per cent higher than its value in Q4, 2019. On an annual basis, the value of solid mineral imports was 39.3 per cent higher than the value recorded in 2019. The value of Energy goods imports was 236.20 per cent in Q4, 2020 higher than in Q3, 2020 and 199.51 per cent higher than the value recorded in Q4, 2019. On an annual basis, the value of energy goods imports was 24.1 per cent lower than recorded in 2019.”

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