Coronanomics (16) - Deconstructing Nigeria's Trade


Monday, June 22, 2020 / 05:20 AM / by Proshare Content/ Header Image Credit:  EcoGraphics


Nigeria's economy like other open economies of the world engages in international trade. A major source of its revenue comes from its trading relations with other nations. In Q4 2019, the value of its total trade was N10.1trn, or  10.2% higher than the value recorded in Q3 2019 and 25.9% higher than in Q4 2018. On an annual basis, the value of total trade in 2019 was recorded at N36.15bn, representing a 14.05% increase over 2018.


To understand the dynamics as well as the channel of transmission of the impact of the COVID-19 on the nations trade balance, it is important to breakdown the trade components.



Nigeria's total imports stood at N5,349.63bn in Q4 2019 representing an increase of 37.2% over the value recorded in Q3 2019 and 49.34% over the corresponding quarter of 2018. In 2019, total imports grew by 28.8% compared to 2018.

Chart 38: Value of Imports By Section (N'bn) Q4 2019

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Source: NBS, Proshare Research


Imported manufactured goods recorded the highest increase in imported goods of 40.74% in Q4 2019 from Q3 2019 and 77.50% more than in Q4 2019. This was due to the importation of other electrodiagnostic apparatus during the quarter. For 2019, the value of imported manufactured goods imports was 60% higher than in 2018.


While the value of imported Agricultural goods decreased by 2.8% in Q4 2019, compared to Q3 but rose 6.6% compared to the corresponding quarter in 2018. The value of agricultural imports in 2019 was 12.7% higher than in 2018.


The Nigerian economy is heavily reliant on imported manufactured goods. A disruption to the global supply chain as a result of the coronavirus (or any other health pandemic for that matter) would negatively affect strategic imports and hobble domestic production. On the brighter side, the virus opened the eyes of the Nigerian government to the urgent need to follow through on a policy of backward supply chain integration to reduce the impact of international contagion on the local economy.


Chart 39: Nigeria's Key Import Partners (%) 2017-2019

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Source: NBS, Proshare Research


Nigeria's two key import partners in 2019 were Asia and Europe both accounting for 49.6% and 29.95% respectively of Nigeria's imports. Any disruption to their economies resulting from the coronavirus would adversely affect the Nigerian economy as the effect would likely be transmitted through foreign exchange translation costs and supply disruptions. Some European nations such as Italy, Spain, the UK, Germany and France were initially on lockdown leading to import disruptions and replacement cost pricing of products. The disruption in product and service flows were incorporated into end-product pricing, which raised production costs and put pressure on the local producer price index (PPI) (see Chart 39).



Nigeria's total export value was 9.79% lower in value in Q4 2019 relative to Q3 2019 but 7.06% higher relative to Q4 2018. In 2019, the value of total exports was 3.56% higher than in 2018.


Agricultural goods exports grew in value by 61.89% in Q4 2019, compared to Q3 2019 but decreased by 30.23% when compared with Q4 2018. In 2019, the value of agricultural goods exports fell by 10.74% relative to 2018.


Manufactured goods exports in Q4 2019 were 48.9% less in value than that recorded in Q3 2019 and 573.19% higher than Q4 2018. In 2019, the value of manufactured goods export was over 200% higher than in 2018.


Crude oil exports in Q4 2019 were 3.16% lower than the value in Q3 2019 and 0.88% lower than Q4 2018. For 2019, the value of oil exports was lower than in 2018 by 3.08%.


Chart 40: Share of Total Exports (%) 2016-2019

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Source: NBS, Proshare Research


Nigeria's top four export products in 2019 were crude oil, other oil products, manufacturing and agricultural products. In 2019, Nigeria recorded a decline in its share of crude oil exports to total exports to 76.54% from 81.78% in 2018. There was also a decline in the share of agriculture exports to total exports to 1.41% in 2019 from 1.63% in 2018. Manufacturing exports to total exports recorded an increase to 10.81% in 2019 from 3.48% in 2018. The latest statistics reveal that the Nigerian economy is still largely dependent on oil exports. The fall in oil demand as a result of the spread of coronavirus would adversely affect Nigeria's revenues in 2020 and perhaps Q1 2021 (see Chart 40). 


Chart 41: Nigeria's Key Export Partners (%) 2017-2019

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Source: NBS, Proshare Research

Nigeria's key export partners in 2019 were Europe and Asia accounting for 39.71% and 28.71% respectively of Nigeria's export. A disruption in Nigeria's key export partner's economy resulting from coronavirus adversely affected Nigeria's revenue generation capacity (see Chart 41).


Nigeria's Trade Balance - A Case of Pain Overriding Gain

Nigeria's trade balance declined from N5.37trn in 2018 to N2.23trn in 2019. The drop in the country's trade balance was caused by an increase in its imports relative to exports in 2019. Nigeria's export increased by +3.56% while its imports increased by +28.78%. A continuous spread of the coronavirus across various countries and within the Nigerian economy will disrupt global supply chains, productivity and hence revenue generation which will have adverse effects on Nigeria's trade balance (see Chart 42).


Chart 42: Nigeria's Import, Export and Trade Balance (N'trn) 2017-2019

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Source: NBS, Proshare Research

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Related Reports (PDF)

1.     Download the Full PDF Report - Coronanomics and the Nigerian Economy, June 06, 2020

2.     Executive Summary PDF - Proshare, June 06, 2020


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