The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) recently released its quarterly Foreign Trade in Goods Statistics – a data which shows the value of the country’s total exports and imports within a particular period – for Q1-2019.
Nigeria’s total export settled at N4.5tn, 3.9% lower compared to N4.7t n recorded in Q1-2018 but 1.8% higher than the level in Q4-2018. Oil exports (8 6.7%) remains the largest contributor to the country total exports while agricultural exports contributed the least, accounting for a paltry 1.9% of the total exports. On the import side, total goods imported into the country during the period settled a t N3.7tn (up 3.4% and 2 5.8% relative to Q 4-2018 and Q1-2018 respectively) with manufactured goods taking the largest percentage of 7 4.9%.
While sustained improvement in export is commendable with trade balance at a favourable N1.0t n for the period, we note that Nigeria import bill continues to rise at a faster rate than total exports (import rose 2 5.8% y/y while export declined 3.9% y/y). Clearly, weaker growth in export is tied to the vagaries of oil output, due to its outsized contribution, despite a sustained uptick in prices over the period.
Again, this may also be traceable to output cap (1.7 6m/d) placed on Nigeria’s export by OPEC in Dec-2018. Accordingly, we maintain our position that Nigeria must find a way to diversify its export base over the medium to long term to improve the trade balance.
UNITED CAPITAL RESEARCH