Nigeria records N138.98bn trade deficit in Q1

Dr Yemi Kale, Statistician-General and CEO National Bureau of Statistics


Nigeria recorded a trade deficit of N138.98 billion in the first quarter of this year.

The report on ‘Foreign Trade in Goods Statistics’ for the quarter released on Tuesday by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed this is the second consecutive quarter the country was recording trade deficit as its value of imports surpassed exports.

“It is worth noting that the consecutive quarters of negative trade balances (and lower imports and exports) occurred against the backdrop of a global slowdown in economic activity as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” NBS explained.

Analysis of the report showed that the import component of the trade was valued at N4.22 trillion or 50.8 percent while the export component totalled N4.08 trillion indicating 49.2 percent of the total trade. 

The report further showed that the value of country’s total trade declined by 17.94 percent to N8.31 trillion in Q1 compared to the N10.12 trillion recorded in the previous quarter, indicating 0.80 percent higher than the N8.24 trillion recorded at the first quarter of 2019.

When compared with the preceding quarter, the deficit in first quarter of 2020 represented an improvement by 76 percent.

On a year-on-year basis however, the deficit was lower by 116.71 percent.

The report showed that crude oil, Nigeria’s dominant export, accounted for N2.95 trillion representing 72.12 percent of total exports in during the period.

The value of crude oil export was 18.86 percent less than the value recorded in last quarter of 2019 and 12.80 percent lower than the value recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2019.

Non crude oil exports value stood at N1.14 trillion representing 27.9 percent of total exports during the period under review.

The global health crisis resulted in several countries implementing varying degrees of restrictions with respect to international trade, travel and tourism,” NBS further explained. 

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