In the fourth quarter of 2020, Nigeria recorded N9.12tn in foreign trade, National Bureau of Statistics disclosed on Tuesday.
The figure, released represented an increase of 8.9 per cent over the level recorded in the third quarter, but 9.9 per cent lower when compared to the fourth quarter of 2019.
According to the ‘Foreign Trade in Goods Statistics Q4, 2020’ of NBS published on Friday, the value of trade recorded in Q4 2020 was highest over the past year.
While the export component of trade stood at N3.19tn, an increase of 6.7 per cent over the preceding quarter but a drop of 33 per cent over the previous year, the share of exports in total trade declined to 35 per cent from 47 per cent a year earlier.
Total imports increased by 10.1 per cent to a record high of N5.93tn, relative to the preceding quarter, and 10.8 per cent over the corresponding year.
It showed that imports also accounted for 65 per cent of total trade, compared to 53 per cent the previous year.
Trade deficit rose to its highest level and a fifth consecutive quarterly deficit at -N2.73tn, an increase of 14.30 per cent compared to the preceding quarter.
On a yearly basis, total trade was valued at N32.42tn in 2020 – 10.3 per cent less than the value recorded in 2019.
While the value of total imports in 2020 stood at N19.898tn, or 17.3 per cent higher than 2019, total exports was valued at N12.52tn, or 34.8 per cent less than in 2019.
The yearly merchandise trade deficit in 2020 was -N7.38tn.
Further analysis showed that crude oil remained the predominant export, which was valued at N2.42tn (81.02 per cent of total exports), while non-crude oil valued at N568.2bn, or 18.98 per cent of total export during the review period.
According to the data, the major export trading partners in Q4 2020 included India, Spain, South Africa, Netherlands and United States of America, with percentage shares of 17.12 per cent, 9.81 per cent, 8.03 per cent, 6.09 per cent and 5.3 per cent respectively.
While the major import trading partners were China, India, USA, Netherlands and Denmark, at 28.28 per cent, 8.54 per cent, 7.57 per cent, 7.16 per cent and 5.40 per cent.
During the review quarter, Nigeria imported goods mainly from Asia, valued at N2.85tn (48.06 per cent of total imports), followed by Europe at N2.16tn (36.5 per cent), America at N702.5bn (11.86 per cent), Africa at N190.1bn (3.21 per cent) and Oceania at N22.3bn (0.38 per cent).
Imports from the Economic Community of West African States accounted for N22.5bn (0.4 per cent of the value of total imports).
The NBS data added that, on a yearly basis, Asia also accounted for the largest imports to Nigeria, with 49.3 per cent of total imports, valued at N9.81tn in 2020, followed by Europe at N6.63tn (33.3 per cent) and America, which recorded N2.64tn or 13.2 per cent of total imports.
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