Nigeria recorded a trade balance of -N290.13 billion out of the total trade value of N17.34 trillion recorded in 2016.
The Foreign Trade Statistics for the last quarter of last year released at the weekend by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that Nigeria imported more goods in value terms than the country exported, a development that led to a trade deficit.
Throughout 2016, Nigeria exported goods worth N8.53 trillion as against goods worth N8.82 trillion the country imported, resulting to a 6.47 per cent trade deficit.
Analysis showed that the N17.43 trillion total trade value recorded last year was higher than the N16.29 trillion recorded in 2015, a year that the country did not record trade deficit because the country exported more than it imported.
Crude oil export value of N6.99 trillion dominated exports from Nigeria throughout 2016 as against N1.53 trillion recorded for non-crude oil export and N344.37 trillion for non-oil exports.
Further analysis of the report showed that the country started reversing the trade deficit in the fourth quarter of 2016.
The much faster rise in the value of exports relative to the rise in imports in the fourth quarter brought the country’s trade balance to N671.3 billion, showing an improvement from the negative trade balance of -N136.0 billion recorded in the second quarter of 2016.
The total value of Nigeria’s merchandise trade at the end of Q4, 2016 was 5.29 trillion, being 10.6 per cent more than the value of N74.78 trillion recorded in the preceding quarter.
Total export value for Q4 2016 stood at N72.98 trillion, which was 28.3 per cent more than the value of the previous quarter.
Total import for Q4 2016 was N72.31 trillion, which represented a decrease of 6.1 per cent with the value of the preceding quarter.