Merchandise Trade Grew By 0.1% - Positive Trade Balance Due to Rising Exports & Falling Imports


Tuesday, June 6, 2017/ 6:50 PM /NBS

Key Highlights 


Total Imports was 0.92% less than Q4 2016 Figure. 

  • Imported Agricultural goods increased by 1.96 %  in Q1 2017 compared to Q4 2016
  • Raw materials imports were 11.3 % lower in Q42016
  • Solid minerals imports reduced by 15.7% in Q1 2017 relative to Q4 2016
  • Manufactured goods imports were 3.3% lower in Q1 2017 than the level attained in Q4 2016
  • Other oil products imports were 6.6 % higher in value in Q1 2017 than Q4 2016 


Total value of export grew by 0.9% compared to Q4 2016 

Domestic exports reduced by 0.17% in Q1 against the level in Q4, 2016 

  • Agricultural goods exports grew in value by 82% in Q1 2017 compared to Q4 2016.
  • Raw material exports reduced by 25%  in Q1 2017 against the level in Q4,2016
  • Solid minerals exports in Q1 2017 were 2% more than the value recorded in  Q4 2016
  • Manufactured goods exports in Q1 2017 were 45% more than the value attained in Q4 2016
  • Crude Oil exports in Q1 2017 were 2% lower than the value recorded in  Q4 2016
  • Other oil products exports were 8% more in value in Q1 2017 compared to Q4 2016 

Total Trade in Q1 2017 

  • Total trade was 0.11% higher in Q1 2017 than the value recorded for Q4, 2016 

Major Export trading partners in Q1 2017  

  • India      22.24%
  • United States 13.86% 
  • Spain      10.81%
  • Netherlands   8.32%
  • France   6.5%  

Major import trading partners in Q1 2017 

  • China       16.79% 
  • Belgium    14.88%
  • Netherlands    10.80%
  • United States 8.07%
  • India          4.53% 

Major traded Agricultural products 

  • Sesamum seed
  • Soya Beans
  • Frozen shrimps and prawn
  • Cashew nuts in shell
  • Crude palm kernel oil

Positive Trade Balance due to rising exports and falling imports.   

Total Merchandise Trade in Q1 2017 

Total exports for the period under review stood at 3,005.9 billion, while total imports stood at 2,286.5 billion. The total value of Nigeria’s merchandise trade at the end of Q1, 2017 was 5,292.4 billion.  

This represented a slight increase of 0.1% relative to the value of 5,286.6 billion recorded in the preceding quarter. The marginal rise in exports, coupled with a slight decrease in imports brought the Country’s trade balance to 719.4 billion during the period, up from 671.3 billion.   

This represents the second consecutive positive trade balance after 4 quarter of negative trade balance.

The value of exports increased by 0.9% compared to the previous quarter while imports in fell by  0.9% relative to the value recorded in the preceding quarter. (Table 1).

On a sectoral/product basis, crude oil accounted for the largest share of total trade with 44.91%, followed by Other oil products (23.37%), Manufactured products (21.93%, Raw materials (5.12%) and Agricultural products (4.35%). 

Imports Classified by Standard International Trade Classification and Country of Origin.  

Nigeria’s import trade stood at 2,286.5 billion at the end of Q1, 2017, showing a decrease of 0.9% from the value (2,307.6 billion) recorded in the preceding quarter.  

The structure of Nigeria’s import trade by section was dominated by the imports of “Mineral products” which accounted for 33.6% of the total value of import trade in Q1, 2017 (Table 2). Other commodities which contributed noticeably to the value of import trade during the review period were “Boilers, machinery and appliances; parts thereof” (19.8%), “Products of the chemical and allied industries” (9.1%),  

“Base metals and articles of base metals” (6.1%) and “Vehicles, aircraft and parts thereof; vessels etc.” (5.3%).

The import trade classified by broad economic category (Table 7), revealed that “Fuels and lubricants”, ranked first with 743.1 billion or 32.5%. This was followed by “Industrial Supplies” with the value of 554.1 billion or 24.2%, and “Capital Goods and parts” with 430.1 billion or 18.8%. The value of motor spirit stood at 507.9 billion.  

Nigeria’s import trade by direction showed that the Country imported goods mostly from China, Belgium, Netherlands, the United States and India, which respectively accounted for 383.9 billion or 16.8%, 340.2 billion or 14.9%, 246.9 billion or 10.8%, 184.5 billion or 8.1%, and 103.6 billion or 4.5% of the total value of goods imported during the quarter.  

Further analysis of Nigeria’s imports by Continent revealed that the country imported goods largely from Europe which recorded a value of 1,222.5 billion or 53.5%. The Country also imported goods valued at 687.1 billion or 30.0% from Asia and 278.2 billion or 12.2 % from America, while Import trade from Africa stood at 71.6 billion or 3.1% and imports from the region of ECOWAS amounted to 12.6 billion (Table 4).


Exports Classified by Standard International Trade Classification and Country of Destination

The value of the export trade, stood at 3,005.9 billion in Q1, 2017 representing an increase of 26.95 billion or 0.9%, over the value recorded in the preceding quarter. The structure of  export trade is still dominated by crude oil exports, which contributed 2,376.7 billion or 79.1% to the value of total domestic export trade in 2017. 

Exports by section revealed that Nigeria exported mainly mineral products, which accounted for 2,860.4 billion or 95.2 % of the total export value. Other products exported by Nigeria include “Prepared foodstuffs; beverages spirits and vinegar; tobacco” at 46.5 billion or 1.5%, and “Vehicles, aircraft and parts thereof; vessels etc.” at 25.1 billion or 0.8%.  

With respect to exports by direction the country in Q1 2017 exported goods mainly to India, the United States, Spain, Netherlands, France, whose values stood at 668.6 billion or 22.2%, 416.5 billion or 13.9%, 324.9 billion or 10.8%, 250.2 billion or 8.3%, and 195.7 billion or 6.5% respectively. The natural liquefied gas recorded 372.4 billion of the total export value during the period under review. 

The export figure above consisted of Domestic produced exports valued at N2973.8 billion or 98.9% and Re-exports worth N32.14 billion or 1.07%. During the quarter, other oil products grew at a higher value compared to Q4 2016 of N1236.8 billion or 23.37%. This was followed by manufactured goods with N1160.8billion or 21.93%, raw materials with N271.2 billion or 5.12% and Agricultural goods with N230.1billion or 4.35% 

Export/Imports Products classified by Sectors/Products Q1 2017 

Agricultural goods sector 

During the quarter, Agricultural export increased by 82% over the level attained in Q4, 2016. The export earnings from Agricultural goods stood at N30.0billion. Agricultural products exports were driven by Sesamum seeds. During the quarter, sesamum seeds worth   N3.7 billion was exported to Turkey.  

Also, Sesamum seeds worth N1.6 billion were exported to China while another N1.6 billion worth of sesamum seeds were exported to India. Sesamun seeds were followed by the exports of soya beans. Soya beans export to Russia accounted for N3.4 billion, while Greece accounted for N1.2billion. Other Agric product like frozen shrimp worth N2.2billions were exported to Netherlands. Cashew nuts valued at N1.8billion were exported mainly to Vietnam while Crude palm kernel oil worth N1.2 billion went mainly to Netherlands. 

With respect to agricultural imports however, Nigeria imported Durum wheat worth N26.8billion from United States, N14.4 billion from Russia and N11.9 billion from Australia. Nigeria also imported Maize worth N8.3 billion from United States, and maize worth N1.1 billion from Cyprus, 

Solid mineral sector 

The summary of the trade in solid minerals showed that cement exports which dominated went mainly to Ghana and was valued at N1.8 billion. Cement was also exported to Niger with a value of N1.2 billion. Other solid mineral exports included  Zinc ores exported to China with a value of N123.1 million. 

With respect to solid mineral imports,  Nigeria imported Gypsum worth  N1.9 billion  from Spain,  and Crude salt worth  N1.1 billion from Brazil amongst others.

Goods Sector 

Total manufactured exports were valued at N98.2 billion. This was dominated by refrigerated vessels exported to Spain with a value of N20.6billion. Good fermented Nigeria cocoa beans were also major manufactured exports with N12.5 billion exported to Netherlands.  

With respect to imports, Nigeria imported other gas turbines from Germany which was valued at N21.4 billion. Additionally, flexible turbine of other base metal was imported from France with a value of worth N14.2billion. Other imported manufactured imports included imported used vehicles which were imported mainly from United States for N13.4billion. Furthermore, imported motorcycles worth  N11.2billion came from India while Skid chain of iron, was imported from Norway  worth  N10.3billion 

Raw material goods sector. 

Raw materials like Urea worth N2.4 billion was exported to United States. Others like double salt and mixture of ammonium sulphate worth N2.5 billion were exported to Brazil. Leather valued at N1.8billion was exported to Italy.  

Nigeria imported cane sugar worth N38billion from Brazil. Also, mixtures of odoriferous substances worth N13.2 billion were imported from Ireland. Chemical fertilizers with nitrogen worth N7.3 billion were imported from United Arab Emirates while Milk preparations worth N4.6 billion were imported from Ireland.

Export by continent, showed that Nigeria mainly exported goods to Europe and Asia, which accounted for 1,045.7 billion or 34.8 % and 1,045.5 billion or 34.8% respectively, of the total export value during the period under review. Furthermore, Nigeria exported goods valued at 393.9 billion or 13.1% to the continent of Africa while export to the ECOWAS region totalled 251.0 billion (Table 5).

Export Intensity Index with five Major Trading Partners

The export intensity index compares the share of exports to each country in Nigeria’s total exports, with the share of world exports going to that country, and therefore gives a measure of the importance of that country to Nigeria as an export destination. A higher number denotes a stronger relationship, and an index of one indicates that exports to that country are what would be expected given global trade patterns. 

In quarter 1, 2017 there was intense export Trade between Nigeria and India and this was depicted by higher  export  intensities of 6.68, 5.31 and 3.60.Another key export market was Spain with intensities of 4.01,3.03 and 2.33.Although United states was a major export trading partner but the trade intensity was low with 0.38,0.77 and 0.49. 

This can be attributed to the kind of products exported to the country during the period .However, the export intensity values between Nigeria, Netherlands and France were more than index value 1 in January which means a higher intensity of export trade but the downswing resulted from February to march with values less than 1 thus lower export intensity.(Table3). 

Import Intensity Index with five Major Trading Partners 

The major sources of imports for Nigeria were china, Belgium, Netherlands, United States and India which is quite visible from their percentage contributions to quarter 1 , import trade(Table4a).Despite this, China’s import intensity values were low with 0.9, 0.7 and 0.3 for the months of the quarter. 

This could be attributed to the types of products imported and government restrictive policies during the period under review. For Belgium and Netherlands the import intensities were more than the index value 1.For Belgium the highest value 4.12 was registered in January. For Netherlands the highest value 2.1 was registered in February. 

India equally registered high import intensities in all the months with 1.7,1.6 and 1.0.The import intensities with these partners portrays a greater intensity of Nigeria’s import trade with Belgium, Netherlands and India. However United states registered low import intensities of 0.3, 0.5 and 0.1(Table3).  


Trade by Mode of Transport 

In Q1, 2017, Nigeria’s total exports were mainly transported by water. The value of Nigeria’s export by water transport  was N2,993.5billion representing 99.6% . Meanwhile the proportion of other modes of transport  in Nigeria’s total export were very low. The goods exported through the rail transport were valued at N8.9 million Also the goods conveyed through Air transport totaled N4.8 billion and its percentage contribution was  0.15%. Goods worth of N7.2b or  0.23% were exported through  Road transport. 

For the import trade ,the major mode of conveyance into the country  was through the water transport  valued at N2,131.9b or 93.2%.

Other means of transport were used but their contributions were low. Road  transport accounted for N17.3b or  0.8%. The Air  means of Transport  was valued at N135.1b or 5.9%.Other transport contributed N2.3b or 0.1%. 

Click Here to Download Q1 2017 Foreign Trade Statistics (PDF) Report

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