Total value of Nigeria’s merchandise trade at the end of Q3, 2015 declined to ₦4,021.4 billion because of decreasing trade surplus resulting from sharp drop in exports and falling imports.
Data released by the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, in Abuja yesterday which disclosed this, explained that the amount was 7.8% less than the (₦4,359.5 billion, revised) recorded in the preceding quarter.
It said “This development arose from a decrease of ₦320.6 billion or 12.1%, in the value of exports combined with a marginal decline of ₦17.4 billion or 1.0%, in the value of imports against the levels recorded in the preceding quarter.”
The NBS noted that in comparison with the corresponding quarter of 2014, the value of the total merchandise trade decreased by ₦2,497.1 billion or 38.3%.
“This was as a result of a ₦132.4 billion or 7.3% and ₦2,364.6 billion or 50.3% decline in imports and exports respectively relative to the corresponding quarter in 2014.
“The sharp decline in exports and slight decrease in imports contributed to continued fall in the Country’s trade balance, by 32.0% or ₦303.1 billion during the quarter,” explained the NBS.
At the end of Q3, 2015, the value of Nigeria’s imports stood at ₦1,688.2 billion, a decrease of 1.0% from the value (₦1,705.7 billion, Revised) recorded in the preceding quarter.
Meanwhile, year-on-year analysis showed that the Country’s imports decreased by N132.4 billion or 7.3%.
The structure of Nigeria’s imports by Section was dominated by the imports of “Boilers, machinery and appliances; parts thereof” which accounted for 24.0% of the total value of imports in Q3, 2015.
Other commodities which contributed noticeably to the value of imports in the review period were “Mineral products” (15.3%), “Vehicles, aircraft and parts thereof; vessels etc.” (8.8%), “Products of the chemical and allied industries” (8.6%), and “Base metals and articles of base metals” (8.4%).
Imports classified by Broad Economic Category, revealed that “Industrial Supplies (nec)”, ranked first with N470.3billion or 27.9% of total imports.
This was followed by “Capital Goods and parts” with the value of N398.7 billion or 23.6%, and “Food and Beverage” with N322.8billion or 19.1%. The value of Motor Spirit stood at N220.6 billion.
The NBS said “Nigeria’s imports by direction, showed that the Country imported goods mostly from China, United States, Belgium, Netherlands and India which respectively accounted for ₦459.4 billion or 27.2%, ₦160.6 billion or 9.5%, ₦128.3billion or 7.6%, ₦101.8billion or 6.0% and ₦ 97.4billion or 5.8% of the total value of goods imported during the quarter.
“Further analysis of Nigeria’s imports by Continent, revealed that the country consumed goods largely from Asia with imports valued at ₦764.5 billion or 45.3% of total imports.
“The Country also imported goods valued at ₦596.4 billion or 35.3% from Europe and ₦241.3 billion or 14.3% from The Americas.
“Import trade from Africa stood at ₦65.4 billion or 3.9% while imports from the region of ECOWAS amounted to ₦16.3 billion.”
Exports by Section revealed that Nigeria exported mainly “Mineral Products”, which accounted for ₦2,025.8 billion or 86.8% of the total exports.
Other products exported by Nigeria include “Vehicles, aircraft and parts thereof; vessels etc.” at ₦216.2 billion or 9.3%, “Prepared foodstuffs; beverages, spirits and vinegar; tobacco” at ₦33.1 billion or 1.4%, and “Vegetable products” at ₦9.3 billion or 0.4% of total exports.
Exports by direction showed that the country exported goods mainly to India, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom and Brazil, whose values stood at ₦408.2 billion or 17.5%, ₦245.1 billion or 10.5%, ₦211.4 billion or 9.1%, ₦192.2 billion or 8.2% and ₦169.4 billion or 7.3% respectively.
Export by continent, showed that Nigeria mainly exported goods to Europe and Asia, which accounted for ₦925.0 billion or 39.6% and ₦682.5 billion or 29.2% respectively, of total exports during the period under review.
Furthermore, Nigeria exported goods valued at ₦287.9 billion or 12.3% of total exports to the continent of Africa while exports to the ECOWAS region totalled ₦140.4 billion.

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