Nigeria’s Imports Fall to N2.4tr, Exports Rise to N3.6tr in Q3 2017


The value of Nigeria’s total exports in the third quarter of 2017 was recorded 3,573.32 billion naira, which shows a 15.19% growth compared to the second quarter of the same year and a 53.85% growth compared to the third quarter in 2016. Total imports in the reviewing quarter, in contrast, decreased to 2,348. 64 billion naira. This shows a decline of 9.41% quarter on quarter and 4.47% on a year on year basis.

This was revealed in a National Bureau of Statistics, NBS report, released on Monday and made available to Brand Spur Nigeria.

The report also showed that the trade balance of Nigeria in 2017 Q3 amounted 1,225 billion naira, due to a continued value increase in exports and a decline in imports. This figure in Q3 more than doubled the value in the previous quarter and it is the first time that trade balance exceeds 1,000 billion naira since the last quarter of 2014.











Exports in the third quarter were still oil dependent. Crude oil exports were recorded 2,971.94 billion naira in the third quarter and it remained the majority of total exports (83.17%). Crude oil exports grew faster than non-crude oil exports as crude oil exports accounted for 78.18% in the second quarter of 2017. Non-oil products only contributed to 3.54% of total exports in the quarter.










Key Highlights 


Total Imports value of N2,348.6 billion in Q3 2017 was 10.51% lower than Q2 2017 and 4.68% lower than Q3 2016.

  • Value of Imported Agricultural goods was 0.05% higher than the value recorded in Q2,2017 and 16.91% higher than Q3 2016
  • Value of Raw material imports was 4.77% lower than Q2,2017 and 2.80%  lower than the value in Q3 2016.
  • Solid Minerals imports in Q3 2017 decreased by 1,220.48% compared to Q2 2017 but was 8.69% higher than Q3 2016
  • Energy goods imports in Q3 2017 were 92.17% lower than Q2 2017 and compared to Q3 2016 when no energy goods imports were recorded.
  • Manufactured goods imports value was 4.08% higher in Q3 2017 than the level in Q2 2017 and 2.79% lower than Q3 2016
  • Other oil products imports value was 17.54% lower than in Q2 2017 and 28.81% higher than Q3 2016 


Total export value stood at ₦ 3,573.0 billion in Q3, 2017 representing an increase of 13.19% over Q2 2017 and 35% over Q3 2016.

  • Agricultural goods export value in Q3 2017 was 38.43% lower than Q2 2017 but 25.29% higher than Q3 2016
  • Raw material exports value increased by 16.88% in Q3 2017 against the level in Q2 2017 but 70.42% higher than Q3 2016.
  • Solid Minerals exports value in Q3 2017, increased by 85.3% compared to Q2 2017 and was 78.72% higher than Q3 2016
  • Energy goods exports value in Q3 2017 was 80.58% higher than Q2 2017 but 99.13% higher than the value in Q3 2016
  • Manufactured goods exports were 62.68% lower than the value in Q2 2017 but 22.98% higher than Q3 2016
  • Crude Oil exports in Q3 2017 were 18.40% more than the value recorded in Q2 2017 but 34.13% higher than Q3 2016
  • Other oil products exports in Q3 2017 were 13.53% less in value than in Q2 2017 but 37.22% higher than Q3 2016 

Major Export trading partners and % share to Q3, 2017 Export trade

  • India                 17.44%
  • U.S.A.              13.92%
  • Spain                9.96%
  • Netherlands   6.79%
  • France            6.32%

Major import trading partners and % share to Q3, 2017 Import trade

  • China              22.26%
  • U.S.A.             7.98%
  • Netherlands    7.64%
  • India               5.08%
  • U.K.                 4.11%

Major traded Agricultural products

  • Sesamum Seeds
  • Frozen shrimps and prawns
  • Soya beans, whether broken or not
  • Cashew nuts, in shell
  • Flour and meals of Soya bean.

Imports Classified by Standard International Trade Classification and country of Origin

Nigeria’s imports trade stood at 2,348. 64 billion naira in 2017 Q3, among which 648.83 billion-naira imports were Machinery & transport equipment (27.63% of total import) and 602.89 billion-naira imports were Mineral fuel (25.67).

The value of the first category stated above in total imports increased by 20.59% while the second one decreased by 14.78% from the previous quarter. Machinery & transport equipment also replaced Mineral products as the top imported products in the reviewing quarter.












In the third quarter, most imported products are from Europe and Asia, which contributed to 43.51% and 39.62% of the total imports respectively. Nigeria’s import trade by direction showed that the Country imported goods mostly from China, USA, Netherland, India and UK, which respectively accounted for 22.26% (522.84 billion), 7.98% (187.43 billion), 7.64% (179.45 billion), 5.08% (119.33 billion) and 4.11% (96.63 billion).

China remained the top importing partner while U.S.A. replaced Belgium to be the second largest importing partner for Nigeria in Q3. Import from Africa accounted for 103.10 billion naira or 4.39% of the total value an import from Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) accounted for 28.60 billion naira or 1.22% of the total value.











Exports Classified by Standard International Trade Classification and Country of Origin

The structure of the export trade is still dominated by crude oil exports, which contributed ₦ 2,971.94 billion or 83.17% to the value of total exports in Q3 2017.

Exports by section revealed that Nigeria exported mainly mineral products, which accounted for ₦ 3,475.01 billion or 97.2% of the total export value. The second largest component was “Prepared foodstuffs; beverages, spirits and vinegar; tobacco” which contributed to 25.81 billion naira or 0.7% of the total exports.

In the third quarter, Nigeria exported most products to Europe (1,292.94 billion naira), Asia (1,034.81 billion naira) and America (826.98 billion naira). Value of Exports to Africa has only recorded 367.28 billion naira, among which 114.93 billion naira of goods were exported to ECOWAS countries.

India remained the top exporting partner for Nigeria in the reviewing quarter. The five top exporting partners are India, U.S.A., Spain, Netherland, France, and Canada, whose values stood at 623.21 billion naira or 17.44 %, 497.52 billion naira or 13.92 %, 355.93 billion naira or 9.96 %, 242.79 billion naira or 6.79 %, and 225.71 billion naira or 5.32% respectively. These five countries accounted for 54.44% of the total exports in 2017 Q3.











Export/Imports Products Classified by Sectors Q3 2017 

Agricultural Goods Sector

The total value of trade in agricultural goods in Q3 2017 stood at N253.68 billion representing 4.30% of total trade in Q3 2017.  Agricultural exports accounted for 0.60% of total exports in Q3 2017.

Exports of Agricultural goods in Q3 2017 was valued at N21.47 billion compared to N29.71 billion in Q2 2017 and N30.02 billion in Q1 2017. Agriculture goods exports in Q3 2017 were therefore 38.43% lower than the value in Q2 2017 but 25.29% higher than the export value in the corresponding period in 2016. In terms of trading partners, agricultural product exports in Q3 2017 were to Europe (46.05%), Asia (39.13%), and to the Americas, Africa, and Oceania at 12.17%, 2.32%, and 0.33% respectively.

In terms of the type of agricultural product, agriculture exports in Q3 2017 were driven by the export of Sesamum seeds which accounted for N5.66billion or 26.36% of the total agriculture exports and 0.16% of total exports. During the quarter under review, sesamum seeds worth N1.45 billion were exported to Turkey, N1.08 billion to China, N0.93 billion to Japan, N0.38 billion to Germany, and N0.35 billion to the Netherlands.

Sesamum seed exports were followed by Frozen shrimps & prawn exports valued at N4.77 billion or 22.23% of total agriculture exports. Frozen shrimps and prawns were exported in Q3 2017 principally to the Netherlands (N2.96 billion), Belgium (N0.95 billion), Vietnam (N0.36 billion), United States (N0.26billion), and France (N0.19 billion). Other major agricultural products included Soya beans worth N3.27billion or 15.22% of total agriculture exports which were exported mainly to Italy (N3.22 billion), the balance was exported to Angola (N0.03 billion), and Mauritania (N0.02 billion).

Exports of cashew nuts fell this quarter with exports recorded at N3.09 billion, or 14.38% of agricultural exports in Q3 2017, mainly to Vietnam (N2.5 billion), and to India (N0.6 billion) Ghana.  Other agriculture exports in Q3 2017, included flour and soya bean meal (N1.14 billion), flowers (N640 million), ginger (N367 million), Nigerian cotton lint (N352 million) amongst others.

With regards to imports, agricultural imports valued at N232.2 billion were imported in Q3 2017 compared to N232.1 billion in Q2 2017 and N200.1 billion in Q1 2017. This represents a 0.05% increase over Q2 2017 and a 16.91% increase over Q3 2016. Nigerian agricultural imports in Q3 2017 accounted for 9.89% of total imports in the quarter under review.

Major imported agriculture imports in Q3 2017 included Durum wheat (not in seeds) worth N19.19 billion from Russia, N12.5 billion from the United States, N12.2 billion from Australia, N10.17 billion from Canada amongst others as well as Crude palm oil, valued at N10.2 billion from Indonesia, N4.2 billion from Ivory Coast and N0.02 billion from Ghana.

Nigeria also imported other agricultural goods including maize seed valued at N8.55 billion from Argentina, N3.97 billion from the United States, N1.24 billion from Singapore, N0.15 billion from China, and N0.01 billion from Turkey in Q3 2017. Mackerel valued at N3.04 billion was also imported from Russia, N2.77 billion from Faroe Island, N1.76 billion from Ireland, N1.31 billion from the Netherlands, and N1.1 billion from Mauritania.



















Solid Minerals Sector

The total value of solid minerals trade in Q3 2017 stood at N35.33 billion representing 0.06% of total trade in Q3 2017.

Solid minerals exports in Q3 2017 stood at N20.82 billion representing 0.58% of total exports in Q3 2017. The value of solid minerals exports in Q3 2017 was 85.3% higher than the value of N3.01 billion recorded in Q2 2017 and 78.72% more than the value of N4.43 billion in Q3 2016.

In Q3 2017, Nigeria exported Naphtalene worth N6.88billion to the Netherlands, N4.77 billion to United States, and N3.06 billion to Togo. Nigeria also exported other cement bulk worth N2.5 billion to Niger Republic, N1.56 billion to Ghana, and N1.18 billion to Togo; as well as Zinc ores and concentrates worth N400.38 million mainly to China; and Lead ores and concentrates worth N126.53 million were exported to China, N30.46 million to Poland, N.717 million to Germany, and N6.11 million to Spain in Q3 2017.

Other Niobium, tantalum, vanadium ores and concentrates worth N134 million were exported to China in Q3 2017.

With respect to imports, solid minerals imports valued at N14.51 billion were imported in Q3 2017, representing 0.62% of total imports in Q3 2017.  The value of solid minerals imports in Q3 2017 was 1,220% less than the value of N191.57 billion recorded in Q2 2017 and 8.69% less than Q3 2016.

Nigeria imported Crude salt worth N1.68 billion from Brazil, N1.33 billion from Namibia, N173.36 million from Turkey, N22.79 million from the United Kingdom, and N5 million from Germany. Plasters of calcined gypsum worth N2.11 billion was imported from Turkey, N285.9 million from Tunisia, N232.53 from Egypt, N163.96 million from China, and N135.01 million from Morocco. 

Gypsum worth N1.47 billion was imported from Spain; while N1.11 billion worth of Ecaussine and alabaster was imported from China, N136.88 million from Italy, and N132.38 million from Germany.  

Other types of coal worth N1.13 billion was imported in the review period from the United Arab Emirates.

Manufactured Goods Sector

The total value trade in manufactured goods stood at N1.26 trillion representing 21.3% of total trade in Q3 2017.

Manufactured goods exports stood at N50.13 billion representing 1.40% of total exports in Q3 2017.  Exports of manufactured goods in Q3 2017 was 62.68% less than the value in Q2 2017 and 22.98% higher than the level in Q2 2016.

In Q3, 2017, exports of manufactured goods were dominated by Vessels and other floating structures for breaking up with an export value of N6.27 billion to Angola, N2.29 billion to Ireland, and N1.37 to China.  Cigarettes containing tobacco worth N2.36 billion was exported to Niger Republic, N1.78 billion to Ivory Coast, N1.2 billion to Cameroon, and N822 million to Republic of Guinea. 

Fermented Nigerian cocoa beans worth N2.11 billion were exported to Indonesia, N1.93 billion to Netherlands, N1.86 to Malaysia, N244 million to Estonia, and N168 million to the United States. Nigeria also exported Cocoa butter, fat and oil worth N1.61 billion, N771.52 million, N703.39million, N525.02 million, and N190.79 million to Netherlands, Germany, Estonia, France, and the United Kingdom respectively in Q3 2017 amongst others.

Analysis of imports of manufactured goods showed that goods representing 51.66% of total imports and valued at N1.2trillion were imported in Q3 2017. This value was 4.08% higher than the value recorded in Q2 2017 and also 2.79% higher than the value recorded in Q3 2016.

Manufactured goods imports in Q3 2017 was dominated by imports of otherUsed vehicles worth N24.76 billion from the United States, N2.07 billion from Germany, N1.67 billion from Canada, N1.66 billion from Belgium, and N928.93 million from the United Arab Emirates. Also Imported motorcycles and cycles worth N15.26 billion was imported from India, N8.15 billion from China, and N530 million from Hong Kong. 

Milk & cream in powder specially formulated for infants worth N8.42 billion was imported from New Zealand, N5.49 billion from the Netherlands, N3.63 billion from Germany, and N3.29 billion from Denmark amongst others; while Polypropylene worth N8.24 billion was imported in Q3 2017 from South Africa, N6.07 billion from Saudi Arabia, N2.53 billion from South Korea, N1.34 from Brazil, an N683.31 million from United States. 

Other appliances such as taps, cocks, and other valves, worth N12.32 billion were also imported from the United Kingdom, N3.21 billion from China, N2.28 billion from the United States, N926 million from Norway, and N647 million from Italy in Q3 2017. 

Raw Material Goods Sector

The total value of trade in raw materials in Q3 2017 stood at N311.52 billion representing 5.3% of total trade.

Raw material goods exports stood at N26.19 billion representing 0.73% of total exports in Q3 2017.  Exports of raw materials in Q3 2017 was 16.88% more than the value in Q2 2017 and 70.42% higher than the level in Q3 2016.

During the quarter, Nigeria exported raw material products like Urea worth N7.98 billion to Brazil, N1.06 billion to Republic of Benin, and N520 million to Senegal amongst other countries. Leather worth N2.9 billion was also exported to Italy, N698.4 million to Spain, N193.25 million to China, N82.81 million to Turkey, and N1.76 million to United Kingdom.

Other raw materials exported within the period under review includeTechnically specified natural rubber valued at N922.87 million to Spain, N554.94 to Netherlands, N527.41 million to France, N477.83 million to South Africa, N472.60 to Italy; and Untreated wood products to China valued at N897.55 million and Cocoa shells, husks, skins, and other cocoa waste to Germany valued at N426.82 million, and to Spain valued at N188.62.

With respect to imports, Nigeria imported Cane sugar meant for sugar refinery worth N34.76 billion from Brazil.  Mineral or chemical fertilizers worth N8.74 billion from Morocco, and N2.47 billion from the United Arab Emirates.

Other raw materials like Mixtures of odoriferous substances were imported from Ireland (N9.54 billion), from Germany (N868.79 million), and Switzerland (N370.18 million), amongst others.

Trade Intensity in Q3 2017 

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.











The export intensities of Nigeria in Q3 2017 showed Nigeria had a strong export relationship with India, with export intensities of 4.01, 5.73, and 2.24 for July, August and September respectively. Spain also recorded relatively higher export intensity index than the other three major trading partners of 3.87, 3.06, and 1.79 in the three months of the third quarter respectively. However, exporting intensity for all the top five exporting partners declined significantly in September.

Import Intensity Index with five Major Trading Partners

During the quarter, the import intensity of Nigeria with the top five importing partners showed a similar pattern to the exporting intensity with top exporting partners with the index stronger in the first two months and a decline in September.  Belgium showed highest importing intensity for the three months, followed by India, Netherland, China and the United States

Trade by Mode of Transport 

In Q3 2017, Nigeria’s major mode of transporting its goods to partner countries was by water.   Transport of goods by water accounted for N3, 557.41 billion naira or 99.55% of total export. The goods exported through the road were valued at N9.81 billion naira while goods exported through the air totaled N1.56 billion naira.

For import trade, the major mode of transporting goods into the country was through water transport. The water transport accounted for N2, 208.60.7 billion naira or 94.04. Goods that entered the country through Road transport accounted for N14.81 billion naira or 0.63 % while those that entered through Air transport accounted for N125.19 billion naira or 5.33 %.

Trade by Custom Ports and Post 

The leading port of operation during the quarter was the Apapa Port. Goods worth N3.5 trillion exited the country through this port. The next leading port of operation was Tin Can Island through which goods worth N28.91 billion were shipped to partner countries. Port Harcourt (1) was also very active and goods worth N16.02 billion exited the country through the port.

Other active ports in operation during the period were Port Harcourt (3), Muhammed Murtala Cargo, Seme Border Post, and Kebbi Area Command.  Similarly, goods that entered Nigeria through Apapa Port was valued at N1.2 trillion, Tin can Island at N485.32 billion, Muhammed Murtala Cargo at N221.53 billion and Port Harcourt (3) at  N130.62 billion respectively.































































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