The first quarter import value represents 27.4 per cent increase in imports over N1.3 trillion spent on importation in the fourth quarter of 2012.
“The increase in imports emanated from substantial rises in the value of major products classified by SITC (Standard International Trade Classification) such as; crude inedible materials, mineral fuels, and commodities”, the bureau stated.
NBS stated that year-on-year, the value of the nation’s total merchandise trade decreased by N1.5 trillion or 23.0 per cent as a result of decreasing imports and exports.
A drop in exports compared to imports also led to a decline in the country’s trade balance by 45.6 per cent during the period under review.
The NBS data also showed that crude oil exports stood at N3.03 trillion during the first quarter of 2013, a decrease of N1.02 trillion or 26.1 per cent when compared to the previous quarter.
Details of imports classified by sections showed that mineral products accounted for the largest share of imports with N639.2billion or 38.8 per cent of total imports. Other imports into Nigeria during the period include boilers; machinery appliances and associated parts; plastic, rubber and associated articles; vehicles; aircraft and parts; with N236.3billion or 14.4 per cent, N185.9billion or 11.3 per cent and N143.8billion or 8.7 per cent respectively.
Nigerian imports by Broad Economic Category (BEC), revealed that fuels and lubricants accounted for N506.4 billion or 30.7 per cent of imports, followed by goods not elsewhere specified with N401.8 billion or 24.4 per cent, industrial supplies with N341.0 billion or 20.7 per cent, and capital goods and associated parts with N165.2 or 10.0 per cent.
Analysis of the country’s imports, according to country of origin revealed that China, United Kingdom, Belgium, United States of America and The Netherlands, were the top five in terms of trading partners with N335.8billion, N98.9billion, N93.4billion, N84.3billion and N80.9billion respectively.
Summary of imports by continents revealed that Europe ranked first with N542.4billion or 32.9 per cent of total imports. This was followed by Asia with N519.4billion or 31.5 per cent, Oceania and other countries with N398.6billion or 24.2 per cent, the Americas with N127.7 billion or 7.8 per cent, and Africa with N58.7billion or 3.6 per cent. ECOWAS contributed N5.3billion or 9.1 per cent of total imports from Africa.
The nation’s external trade in the first quarter of the year valued at N5.1 trillion, according to the data, experienced a sharp drop by 29 per cent, even as volume of imports reportedly rose by 27.4 per cent or N353.9 billion posted in the same period.