Nigeria’s merchandise export trade value in the first quarter of this year, declined as the country’s imports recorded significant slide relative to total exports, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has said in its latest Foreign Trade Statistics report on Wednesday.

According to the report, the total merchandise trade value for the period stood at about N6.62 trillion compared with the about N8.53 trillion recorded in the preceding quarter.

An analysis of this figure on export-import basis showed that Nigeria earned N4.97 trillion from the export of mineral products like crude oil and natural gas, which yielded a total of about N4.19 trillion in revenue for the government, with non-oil exports accounting for the balance.

Comparatively, total imports in the period under review stood at N1.56 trillion, an increase of about N255.20 billion, or 18.3 per cent over the value of imports in last quarter of last year, though the value decreased by about N1.45 trillion, or 48 per cent when compared with the value of the corresponding quarter of 2011.

“The value of Nigeria’s total merchandise trade in the first quarter of 2012 stood at N6,622 billion, compared to N8,529.3 billion in the preceding quarter, which shows a decrease of N1,907.2 billion, or 22.4 per cent,” the report said.

“The observed change was as a result of a decline in the value of exports by N2,162.5 billion, or 30.3 per cent over that of the previous quarter. Year-on-year analysis revealed that the country’s value of total trade in first quarter of 2012 rose by N296.7 billion, or 4.7 per cent over the value of about N6,325.3 billion in the corresponding period of 2011.

“The balance of trade in Q1 2012 stood at N3,317.5 billion, a decrease of N2,417.7 billion, or 42.2% over the preceding quarter. This decrease was attributed to the decline in the value of exports (non-crude oil exports in particular) in the quarter under review. 

“Year-on- year, the balance of trade increased substantially as a result of the decline in imports in Q1 2012 (especially the mineral products section) compared to the corresponding period in 2011”, it added.

The NBS said Nigeria’s imports by country of origin showed that China, United States, United Kingdom, Brazil, and India were Nigeria’s major trading partners with N265.3 billion, N196.1 billion, N190.6 billion, N169.9 billion, and N114.0 billion respectively. 

Similarly, the exports by country of destination trend in the period under review showed that India, United States, Netherlands, Spain, and Brazil were Nigeria’s leading trade partners with N688.5 billion, N609.7 billion, N482.1 billion, N390.4 billion and N328.9 billion respectively.


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