By Chika Otuchikere
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has reported that Nigeria recorded a trade balance deficit of N1.8 trillion at the end of the second quarter, 2020. This is the third consecutive quarter of negative trade balance for the country.
This report was contained in the NBS second quarter finding on ‘Foreign trade in goods statistics’ made available on Wednesday.
The report revealed that the value of Nigeria’s merchandise trade stood at N6.24 trillion in the second quarter of 2020.
Part of the report read: “This indicated a sharp fall of 27.30 per cent in Q2, 2020 compared to Q1, 2020 and 27.46 per cent compared to Q2, 2019.
“The value of total trade year to date amounted to N14.82tn, indicating a drop of 11.96 per cent compared to half-year 2019.
“The import component was valued at N4.02tn representing a drop of 10.69 per cent in Q2, 2020 against the level recorded in Q1, 2020 but an increase of 0.39 per cent year-on-year.
“The export component accounted for N2.21tn of the total trade, indicating a decline of 45.64 per cent against the value recorded in Q1, 2020 and 51.73 per cent compared to Q2, 2019.
“Consequently, the trade balance recorded a deficit of N1.8tn, marking the third consecutive quarter of negative trade balance.”
This latest figure compares with the trade in goods deficit of N421.3bn recorded in Q1, 2020 and N579.06bn recorded in Q4 2019.
Nigeria’s dominant export, crude oil, accounted for N2.94tn representing 72.12 per cent of total exports in Q1,2020. This brought the value of crude oil export to 18.86 per cent less than the value recorded in Q4, 2019 and 12.80 per cent lower than the value recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2019.
Non-crude oil exports were valued at N1.13 trillion representing 27.9 per cent of total exports during the period under review.
The value of total imports amounted to N4.02 trillion in Q2, 2020. representing a drop of 10.69 per cent against the level recorded in Q1,2020 but an increase of just 0.39 per cent year-on-year.
To date, the year import value amounted to N8.52 trillion, or 10.58 per cent over half year 2019.
The fall in value of import in Q2, 2020 could be attributed to the decrease in the value of mineral fuels (N1.03 trillion or 82.35 per cent), machinery and transport equipment (N147.2 billion or 8.43 per cent) and miscellaneous manufactured articles (N157.5 billion or 47.94 per cent) against their respective values in quarter 1, 2020.
The structure of imports under this category showed that machinery and transport equipment accounted for the largest share of imports at N1.59 trillion or 39.7 per cent of total imports, followed by chemicals and related products, valued at N776.3 billion or 19.30 per cent and food and live animals worth N648.6 billion or 16.1 per cent among others.
During the quarter, Nigeria imported goods mainly from Asia, which was valued at N2.12 trillion or 52.8 per cent.
Other imports originated from Europe, valued at N1.07tn or 26.6 per cent, while imports from America and Africa amounted to N605.2bn or 15 per cent and N174bn or 4.3 per cent respectively.
Import from Oceania stood at N50.6 billion or 1.3 per cent, while goods valued at N31.1 billion originated from ECOWAS.