Daily Insight: Nigeria’s Foreign Trade in Q1-18; Oily still?


Earlier, the NBS published Nigeria’s foreign trade report for Q1-18. Broadly driven by a surge in total export which jumped 56.0%y/y to N4.7bn and steady growth in import bill (up 8.0%y/y to N2.5bn), the trade balance for the quarter remained positive, surging 2.2x to N2.2bn from N0.7bn in Q1-17.

A further look at the export composition indicated that growth in crude oil export was sustained in Q1-18, up 50.7%y/y to N3.6bn amid domestic oil output stability and an uptick in oil prices. Non-oil crude oil export, however, grew faster, jumping 75.8% amid a remarkable expansion in manufactured good (up 676.9% to a record N434.4m), Agricultural export (124.0% to N73.2m) and other oil product (115.9% to N5,857m).

Although Nigeria’s foreign trade remained rather oily, the share of crude oil & oil-related products export declined to a record level of 87.7%, despite an uptick in oil prices during the period. Our view is that aggressive growth in non-oil export is a very positive development for Nigeria as the economy push towards diversifying its export base away from oil. Notably, continued improvement in solid mineral (+158.5%y/y to N26.9m) and Agriculture export highlights the positive impact of
government’s commitment to revamping activities in the primary sector of the economy after decades of abandonment occasioned by reliance on crude oil.


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