By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Data recently released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that the Nigeria improved its external trade in 2016 by 6.5 percent.
According to the NBS, the value of the total trade at the end of 2016 was N17.4 billion.
In the report on ‘Merchandise Trade Intensity Index/Re-exports for fourth quarter’ released in Abuja by the agency, it said the country’s external trade in the fourth quarter of 2016 stood at N5.3 billion.
The report revealed that Nigeria’s export intensity in the months of October, November and December 2016 was the highest for South Africa with export intensities of 8.9, 7.3 and 4.1, respectively, while the export intensity in the fourth quarter was also intense with India with export intensities of 5.8, 5.8 and 1.7 for the last three months of 2016.
The NBS further disclosed that Spain and Netherlands also had high export intensities with export intensities of 4.8, 2.9 and 2.0 for Spain and 2.2, 1.5 and 2.2 for the Netherlands, but said the United States, one of Nigeria’s major trading partners, had a low export intensity of 0.6, 0.6 and 0.2 for the last three months of 2016.
According to the report, Nigeria’s export component stood at N2.98 billion while the import component stood at N2.31 billion, leading to a trade surplus of N671 billion.
It noted that trade by sector showed that crude oil exports had the largest share of the total trade, accounting for N2.43 billion or 45.9 percent trade in fourth quarter, while manufactured goods remained the second major contributor to total trade by sector with N1.17 billion or 22.1 percent of total trade.
It further said the non-crude oil products trailed, with the non-crude oil products staying at N1.15 billion or 21.8 percent and agricultural goods accounting for N212.7 billion or 4 percent.
Also, according to the report, raw material goods accounted for N309 billion or 5.9 percent, while solid mineral goods stood at N13.1billion or 0.3 percent of total trade in the quarter.
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