Hiccup in Trade Activities Ahead


Friday, March 20, 2020 / 10:27 AM / By FBNQuest Research / Header Image Credit: The Star


The latest data from the NBS in its report on foreign trade in goods for Q4 2019 show the total value of trade as N10.1trn, representing an increase of 10% on the preceding quarter. Compared with Q3, the total export value decreased by 10% q/q to N4.77trn, and the import value rose by 36% q/q to N5.35trn. The net result was a deficit of N580bn, which followed a surplus of N1.39bn the previous quarter. On a full year basis, foreign trade in goods for 2019 stood at N36.2trn, which was 14% higher than total trade recorded in the previous year. The data were drawn primarily from the Nigeria Customs Service.


From the bureau's commentary we note that the increase in import value was primarily due to q/q increases in the value of imported machinery and transport equipment (which rose by 47% q/q) and of mineral fuels (61% q/q) in Q4 2019.


During the quarter under review, Nigeria imported goods mainly from Asia, valued at N3.0trn (56% of total imports). Other major imports originated from Europe (29%) and the US (12%).


Similar to preceding quarters, crude oil accounted for the largest share (76%) of total exports in Q4. That said, the value of crude oil exports declined by -3% q/q and rose by 50% y/y. Data released by same source show that average daily oil production hit 2.0 million barrels per day (mbpd) in Q4. Oil production remained broadly consistent last year.


In the quarter under review, Nigeria exported goods valued at N582bn to fellow members of the Economic Community of West African States. This represented 61% of total exports within Africa.


Merchandise trade values (N' trn)

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Sources: National Bureau of Statistics (NBS); FBNQuest Research


The global health crisis has resulted in a slowdown in economic activity (initially in China but since spreading far more widely). To control the pandemic, countries are closing their borders. Trade activities are being disrupted on the back of COVID-19, which will surely be reflected in the NBS report on foreign trade for the current quarter.

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