Nigeria’s Merchandise Trade Rises 1% to $7.8bn in August 2023

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By Adedapo Adesanya 

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disclosed that the total value of the country’s merchandise trade experienced an increase of 1 per cent to $7.8 billion in August 2023 from the $7.72 billion that was quoted in July.

This was disclosed by the apex bank in its latest monthly economic publication, where it disclosed that despite the rise month-on-month, Nigeria’s merchandise trade value in the period was almost 20 per cent lower compared to the value in August 2022 due to a significant decrease in import trade value.

The total merchandise trade comprised an export trade value of $4.8 billion, up 4.6 per cent month-on-month and 2 per cent year-on-year.

However, merchandise imports decreased by 5 per cent month-on-month and translated to a 40 per cent drop from the same period last year.

According to the CBN, the reduction in merchandise imports was mainly driven by a decrease in the value of imported petroleum products to $900 million from $1.2 billion in July 23.

Consequently, the net trade position resulted in a higher net trade surplus of $1.8 billion in August 2023 compared with $1.5 billion in July 2023.

A breakdown of export trade shows that crude oil and gas accounted for 89 per cent of total export trade value at almost $4.3 billion versus nearly $4.1 billion in July 2023. The increase was mainly due to a combination of higher crude oil production and prices during the month.

According to data from the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Nigeria’s average daily crude oil output (including condensates) increased by 120,000 barrels per day to 1.4 million barrels per day in August.

The price of Nigeria’s benchmark crude blend, the Bonny light, was up by 9 per cent month-on-month to $89.3 a barrel during the month.

Non-oil exports, which accounted for around 11 per cent of merchandise export proceeds, increased by 3 per cent month-on-month to $500 million.

The top three non-oil export commodities were urea (for nitrogenous fertilizer), cocoa beans, and hibiscus flower, which contributed 15.7 per cent, 11.2 per cent, and 6.8 per cent, respectively, to non-oil export earnings.

Non-oil imports increased to $1.9 billion in the review month from $1.8 billion in the previous month.

Cumulatively, the total value of Nigeria’s merchandise export and import trade fell by 14 per cent year-on-year and 37 per cent year-on-year to $39 billion and $30 billion, respectively, implying a net trade surplus of $9.3 billion for the period.

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