Nigeria agric imports hit N738bn in first quarter

A total of N738 billion worth of agricultural products was imported into the country in the first quarter 2015, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in its latest foreign trade reports.

Agricultural imports increased by N132.1 billion or 21.8 percent from N606 billion in Q1 2014 to N738 billion in Q1 2015, the data show.

The value of Nigeria’s total imports stood at N1.6 trillion at the end of Q1, 2015, a decrease of N385 billion or 19 percent from N2 trillion recorded in the preceding quarter. On year-on-year basis, the value of the country’s imports increased by N99billion or 6.5 percent from the Q1, 2014 value of N1.5 trillion.

NBS explained that the 2.2 percent drop occurred despite a rise of N275.6 billion or 9.3 percent in the value of exports compared to the preceding quarter.

The statistical agency said a decline of N385.8 billion or 19 per cent in the value of imports resulted in an overall decline in the value of merchandise trade.

Nigeria imported goods mostly from China, United States, Belgium, Netherlands and India, which respectively accounted for N387.5 billion or 23.6 percent N133.8 billion or 8.1 per cent; N118.7 billion or 7.2 per cent; N108.7 billion or 6.6 per cent, and N96.6 billion or 5.9 per cent of the total value of goods imported during the first quarter.

The ongoing transformation in the agricultural sector has attracted investments which have helped in reducing the country’s bill for food import in the past three years.

According to the report, boilers, machinery and appliances recorded the highest import value in the agricultural products with N455.4 billion, followed by vegetable products with a value of N104.5 billion for the period.

A total of N99.5 billion of agricultural products was exported in first quarter 2015.

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