Nigeria Grows Total Trade by 14% to N36.2trn in 2019

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By Adedapo Adesanya

Nigeria’s total trade rose by 14 percent in 2019 as the country recorded a total of N36.2 trillion in both its import and export for the year.

This was disclosed in the Foreign Trade in Good Statistics for the fourth quarter released on Friday by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), where it showed that there were higher exports value than imports in the year despite imports recording a higher rate.

In the year 2019, there was a total of N19.2 trillion in exports while total imports stood at N16.9 trillion, resulting in a trade balance of N2.3 trillion.

According to the country’s statistical authority, imports rose by 28.8 percent in 2019 over 2018 while exports rose by only 3.6 percent and the trade balance was 58.4 percent less than what was published in 2018.

In the fourth quarter of 2019, the value of total trade was N10.1 trillion, or 10.2 percent higher than the value recorded in quarter three, 2019 and 25.9 percent higher than in quarter four, 2018.

According to the NBS report, Nigeria’s merchandise trade grew in Q4 2019 but imports rose faster, exceeding falling exports.

It stated in the report that the increase in imports recorded during the year led the nation to record a first negative trade balance in almost three years.

“The faster increase in imports resulted in a negative trade balance of N579.06 billion during the quarter under review, the first since mid- 2016,” the report said.

It was disclosed that the value of the export component totalling N4.8 trillion, fell by 9.8 percent compared to Q3 2019 but rose by 7.1 percent when compared with Q4 2018.

On the other hand, the import, with a total of N5.3 trillion increased by 37.2 percent in last year’s fourth quarter compared to Q3 2019 and 49.3 percent against the fourth quarter of 2018.

Giving a further break down of imports, the NBS report stated that, “The value of imported agricultural goods decreased by 2.8 percent in quarter four, 2019 compared to quarter three, but rose 6.6 per cent compared to the corresponding quarter in 2018.

“The value of agricultural imports in 2019 was 12.7 percent higher than in 2018.

“Raw material imports were 1.63 percent higher in quarter four, 2019 compared to quarter three and 8.47 percent higher compared to quarter four, 2018.

“Imports of raw materials grew 19.2 percent in 2019 compared to 2018,” it said.

The report also said that solid minerals imports decreased in value by 6.98 percent in quarter four, 2019 relative to quarter three, 2019 but were higher by 5.11 percent relative to quarter four, 2018.

However, the value of solid minerals imports rose by 28.1 percent in 2019 compared to 2018.

The NBS said that the value of imported manufactured goods was 40.74 percent higher in quarter four, 2019 than the level attained in quarter three 2019 and 77.50 percent more than in quarter four, 2018.

The report noted that this was due to the importation of other electrodiagnostic apparatus during the last quarter of the year.

It added that for 2019, the value of imported manufactured goods imports was 60 percent higher than in 2018.

According to the report, the value of energy goods imports decreased by 65.27 percent in quarter four, 2019 compared to quarter three, 2019 and by 75.86 percent compared to quarter four of 2018.

It added that for 2019, the value of energy goods imports fell by 56.2 percent compared to 2018.

On other oil products imports, the NBS said that they were 60.59 percent higher in value in quarter four, 2019 than in quarter three and 2.11 percent higher than quarter four, 2018.

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