Hopes of a quick end to Nigera’s economic challenges faded yesterday as the Central Bank of Nigeria’s portion of the national foreign reserves fell to $19.44 billion and non-oil exports fell by over 43 percent in the second quarter of 2016.
Provisional data released by the apex bank showed that total non-oil export earnings, at US$576.97 million, fell by 43.2 per cent, below the level in the preceding quarter
In its second quarter economic report released yesterday, CBN said, “The development, relative to the preceding quarter, was attributed, mainly, to the significant decline in receipts from manufactured and food products as well as minerals export.
“A breakdown by sectors showed that proceeds from the export of agricultural, minerals, industrial, manufactured products, food products and transport sectors stood at US$196.87 million, US$185.51 million, US$84.34 million, US$79.44 million, US$30.68 million and US$0.12 million respectively.
“The percentage shares of agricultural, minerals, industrial, manufactured products, food products and transport sectors in the total non-oil export proceeds were 34.1 per cent, 32.2 per cent, 14.6 per cent, 13.8 per cent, 5.3 per cent and 0.02 per cent, respectively.
“This saw the gross external reserves at the end of the second quarter of 2016 stand at $26.51 billion, showing a decline of 3.0 per cent and 6.5 per cent, compared with the levels in the preceding quarter and the corresponding period of 2015, respectively.
“The development, relative to the preceding quarter, was due to increased sales of foreign exchange at the interbank market and notional changes in the value of third currencies.
“A breakdown of the official external reserves showed that CBN reserves stood at US$19.44 billion (73.3%), Federation reserves, US$2.45 billion (9.3%), and the Federal Government reserves, US$4.61 billion (17.4%)”.
The CBN said “a total of US$4.31 billion was sold by the CBN to authorized dealers during the second quarter of 2016”.
“This reflected an increase of 22.7 per cent above the level in the preceding quarter, but a decline of 41.5 per cent relative to the level in the corresponding period of 2015.
“The development, relative to the preceding quarter, was attributed to the increased intervention by the CBN at the forex market and swap transactions.”
Nigeria’s local currency, the naira, fell to a new low of 414 against the United States dollar on Monday amid the continued scarcity of foreign exchange in the country, with economic experts predicting further pressure in the forex market this week.
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