Nigeria: Merchandise Trade Grew In Q3 2019 With Higher Exports And Lower Imports

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Nigeria: Merchandise Trade Grew In Q3 2019 With Higher Exports And Lower ImportsNigeria: Merchandise Trade Grew In Q3 2019 With Higher Exports And Lower Imports

Total Trade

Total trade grew by 6.8% in Q3,2019 compared to Q2,2019 and 1.33% relative to Q3, 2018. 


  • The value of total imports decreased by 2.70% in Q3 2019 compared to Q2,2019, and 7.47% relative to the corresponding quarter of 2018.
  • In Q3, 2019, the value of imported agricultural products was 4.01% lower than in Q2,2019, but 7.21% higher than  Q3, 2018.
  • The value of raw material imports decreased by 4.64% in Q3,2019 relative to Q2, 2019 but increased by 16.81% when compared to Q3 2018.
  • The value of solid minerals imports was 31.73% lower than the value of in Q2, 2019 but 7.05% higher than the value recorded in Q3 2018.
  • The value of energy goods imports increased by 243.92% in Q3, 2019 and 286.91% relative to Q3, 2018 due to increased import of other wood charcoal, electrical energy and Charcoal of bamboo.
  • The value of imported manufactured goods grew by 12.46% in Q3,2019 against the value recorded in Q2,2019 but decreased by 3.48% when compared to Q3, 2018.
  • The value of Other oil products imported decreased by 41.85% in Q3,2019 against the level recorded in Q2, 2019 and 54.59% when compared to Q3,2018. 


  • The value of total exports in Q3, 2019 increased by 15.02% compared to the level recorded in Q2, 2019 and 8.97% when compared with its value in Q3, 2018.
  • The value of agricultural exports decreased by 42.69% in Q3 2019 relative to Q2, 2019 and 7.30% when compared to Q3, 2018.
  • The value of raw material goods exports in Q3, 2019 decreased by 5.74% in Q3,2019 against Q2, 2019  and   8.84% against Q3 2018.
  • The value of solid minerals exports decreased by 17.08% in Q3, 2019 against Q2, 2019 and 34.97% against the corresponding quarter in 2018.
  • The exports of energy goods decreased in value by 40.06% in Q3 2019 compared to Q2, 2019 and 45% when compared with Q3,2018.
  • The value of manufactured goods exports increased by 839.44% in Q3, 2019 when compared with the value recorded in Q2, and over 1000% compared to Q3 2018. The notable increase recorded was due to the re-exports of high-value Cable Sheaths of Iron, as well as submersible drilling platform, Vessels and other floating structures.
  • The value of crude oil exports in Q3 2019 was 4.79% lower than in Q2 2019 and 9.62% lower than Q3 2018.
  • The value of Other oil products exports rose by 6.14% in Q3 2019 against Q2, 2019 but fell by 15.19% relative to Q3,2018.  
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Major export trading partners and percentage share in Q3, 2019 export trade.

  • Ghana                      
  • India
  • Netherlands
  • Spain
  • United States


Major import trading partners and percentage share in Q3, 2019 import trade

  • China
  • United States
  • India
  • Netherlands
  • Belgium


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Major Traded Agricultural Products.

  • Sesamum seeds, whether or not broken
  • Good fermented Nigerian Cocoa Beans
  • Cashew nuts, shelled
  • Superior quality raw cocoa beans
  • Other Frozen shrimps and prawns
  • Natural cocoa butter
  • Cashew nuts (in shell)


The value of Nigeria’s total trade stood at N9,187.6billion in Q3,2019 representing 6.77% increase over the value recorded in Q2,2019 and 1.33% increase relative to Q3, 2018. The value of the export component (N5,288.5billion) increased by 15.02% against Q2, 2019 and 8.97% when compared with the corresponding quarter in 2018. On the other hand, the import component (valued at N3,899.1 billion) decreased by 2.70% in Q3 against Q2, 2019 and 7.47% against Q3, 2018. The increase in exports coupled with the decrease in imports led to a positive trade balance of N1,389.3billion during the period under review.

In Q3, 2019, crude oil remained the dominant export, accounting for 70.87 (N3,747.8billion) of the value of total export, while non-crude oil exports amounted to 29.13% (N1,540.7billion). However, in Q3, 2019, the value of crude oil exports was 4.7% lower than in Q2, 2019 and 9.6% lower than the corresponding quarter of 2018.

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Imports Classified by Standard International Trade Classification and country of Origin

Nigeria’s imports stood at N3,899.1 billion in Q3,2019, representing a decrease of 2.70% over the value recorded in Q2,2019 and 7.47% over the corresponding quarter of 2018. This was due to decreases in the values of mineral fuel (which fell by N381.9billion or 41.98%) and crude inedible materials (N15.95 billion or 24.44%) in Q3, 2019 over their values in Q2, 2019.

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During the quarter, Nigeria imported goods mainly from Asia and valued at N1,998.5 billion or 51.3% of total imports. Other major imports originated from Europe, valued at N1,194.2billion or 30.6% while imports from the Americas and Africa amounted to N576.7billion or 14.8% and N106.0billion or 2.7% respectively. Import from Oceania stood at N23.8billion or 0.6% of total imports while goods valued at N19.1billion originated from ECOWAS.

Nigeria’s imports, by country of origin, shows goods were imported mainly from China, and valued at N1,221.9 billion. Nigeria also imported goods from the United States worth N442.4billion, India (N292 billion), the  Netherlands (N265.2 billion) and Belgium (N155.2billion).

Read:  Nigerian Tax & Fiscal Outlook 2019

Exports Classified by Standard International Trade Classification and Country of Destination

The value of total exports in Q3, 2019 stood at N5,288.5 billion. This indicates an increase of 15.02% against the level recorded in Q2,2019 and 8.97% when compared with its value in Q3, 2018. The Crude oil component of export amounted to N3,747.8 billion or 70.84% of total exports during the period under review while Non-crude oil export grew significantly in Q3, 2019 and was valued at N1,540.7 billion or 29.13%.

Exports by section revealed that mineral products accounted for the largest proportion of exports, amounting to N4,220.1 billion or 79.8%). Other major sections in exports were Base metals and its articles (N771.6billion or 14.6%) as well as Vehicles aircraft and parts (N200billion or 3.7%).

Analysis of trade by region revealed that Nigeria exported most products to Europe (N1,861 billion or 35%), followed by Africa (N1,459.7billion or 27.6%), Asia (N1,361.3billion or 25.74%), America (N598.3billion or 11.3%) and Oceania (N8.1billion or 0.1%). Within Africa, exports to ECOWAS member states was worth N1,140.1 billion, or 21.56% of total exports. The value of exports to Africa and ECOWAS was notably high in Q3 2019 due to exports of Cable sheaths of iron and submersible drilling platforms exported to Ghana.

Exports by country of destination showed that Nigeria exported goods to Ghana (valued at N908.6billion or 17.18% of total exports), India (N775.7billion or 14.67%), the Netherlands (N519.3billion or 9.8%),  Spain  (N454.7 billion or 8.6%) and the United States (N332.2billion or 6.3%).

Export/Imports Products Classified by Sectors Q3, 2019

 Agricultural Goods Sector

During the quarter, total trade in Agricultural goods stood at N282.0 billion, out of which exported agricultural goods accounted for N42.1billion or 14.9%. Analysis by economic region showed that most were exported to Asia and Europe, and valued at N20.5billion and N18.0billion respectively.  The key driver of agricultural products exports was Sesamum seeds exported mainly to Japan (N5.6billion), Turkey (N2.9billion) and China (N1.3billion). Other key agricultural exports were Good Fermented Nigerian Cocoa Beans exported mainly to the Netherlands (N6.2billion) and Malaysia (N2.1billion), as well as Cashew nuts, shelled exported to Vietnam and the United States, and valued at N2.2billion and N0.3billion respectively.

Imported agricultural products accounted for N239.9billion or 85.1% of total agricultural trade in Q3, 2019. The major product was Durum wheat (seeds) imported mainly from the United States and Russia, worth N26.7 billion and N19.1billion respectively.  Other products were Durum wheat (Not in seeds) imported from the United States and Canada valued at N22.6billion and N16.2billion respectively, as well as Mackerel imported from Russia and Japan, valued at N3.9 billion and N3.6billion respectively.

Solid Minerals Sector

The total trade in solid mineral goods stood at N26.2 billion in Q3, 2019, comprising an import component of N19.9 billion and an export component of N6.3 billion. The major products exported under this sector were Other cement exported to the Niger Republic and Togo, worth N2.8 billion and N1.9 billion respectively. Lead ore and concentrates were exported to China, worth N1.1 billion, in addition to Niobium, tantalum, and Vanadium ores (worth N0.2billion).

In terms of imports, Nigeria imported plasters of calcined gypsum or calcium sulphate mainly from Turkey (N3billion), Tunisia (N0.8billion) and Egypt (N0.5billion). In addition, Crude salt valued at N2.5billion and Gypsum valued at N2.9billion were imported from Brazil and Spain respectively.

Manufactured Goods Sector

The value of manufactured goods trade in Q3, 2019 stood at N3,776.5 billion or 41.1% of total trade. Of this, the export component accounted for N996.8 billion, an increase of 839.44% over the value recorded in Q2, 2019. This was driven by export of Cable sheaths of Iron and steel valued at N750.3billion which was exported to Ghana. Another product that drove up Manufactured export was floating and submersible drilling platforms also exported to Ghana and valued at N117.4billion. In addition, Vessels and other floating structures for breaking up worth N41.7 billion was exported to Cameroon.


In terms of imports, used Vehicles worth N120.6 billion was imported from the United States, Italy (N6.3 billion), Belgium (N4.3billion), Germany (N3.9 billion) and Canada (N3.9 billion). Other imported products were motorcycles from India and China, worth N81.8 billion and N35.7 billion respectively. Vaccines for human medicine, worth N37.8billion and N37.6billion were imported from Denmark and Singapore respectively, while machines for reception and chassis fitted with engines for assembly plants, respectively worth N50.36 billion and N50.42 billion were also imported from China during the period under review.

Raw Material Goods Sector

The value of total trade in raw material stood at N359.7 billion. The import component was valued at N330.4billion while the export component stood at N29.3 billion. During the quarter, Urea worth N6.9 billion was exported to Brazil while Leather worth N4.1 billion and N2.4 billion was exported to Spain and Italy respectively. Other raw materials exported during the period were technically specified natural rubber mainly exported to Spain and France in values N1.2 billion and N1.1 billion respectively.

However, cane sugar worth N31.95 billion was imported from Brazil. Other products imported were preparations for infant use valued at N12.5 billion, N7.8 billion and N1.7billion imported from China, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands respectively. In addition, milk preparations containing vegetable fats worth N8.8 billion, N3.3 billion, N2.1 billion and N1.0 billion were imported from Ireland, Australia, Malaysia and the Netherlands respectively. During the quarter, mixtures of Odoriferous substance valued at N10.2billion was also imported from Ireland.

Trade Intensity in Q3, 2019

Export Intensity Index with Five Major Trading Partners

The export intensities of Nigeria in Q3, 2019 showed Nigeria’s export with India was intense in July, August and September with the index recording 6.3, 5.6 and 2.2 respectively. Similarly, export to Spain was intense and recorded at 3.1, 5.8 and 1.7 during the months of July, August and September respectively. Export to the Netherlands in July, August and September recorded intensity indices of 1.9, 3.5 and 1.3. However, the United States and France recorded generally lower export intensities during the period under review.

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Import Intensity Index with five Major Trading Partners

In Q3 2019, Nigeria’s import trade with China was intense in all months of the quarter, with import intensities of 1.9, 1.3 and 1.1 recorded in July, August and September respectively. This was the case with India as well, which recorded 3.4, 2.4 and 2.8 respectively during the same period. Import intensities for Belgium were recorded at 1.4 in July and 2.1 in August, while September recorded a lower intensity of 0.3. Import intensity with the Netherlands showed 1.0 in July, 1.9 in August and 1.1 in September. For the United States, intense trade was recorded in July at 1.0 but this slowed down in August and September which recorded 0.9 and 0.7 respectively.

Trade by Mode of Transport

Water transport remained the major mode of transporting goods between Nigeria and trading partner countries. In Q3, 2019, water transport accounted for N5,256.1 billion or 99.39% of total exports. Air transport contributed N15.4 billion, Road transport accounted for N11.6billion and other means contributed N5.4billion. Similarly, for imports, most goods brought into the country arrived via water transportation means. Water transport accounted for N3,491.6 billion or 89.5% of the value of total imports. Goods imported by road and air were valued at N17.2 billion and N390.3billion respectively.

Trade by Custom Ports and Post

In Q3, 2019, the bulk of export transactions was conducted through Apapa port, valued at â‚¦4,259.2 billion or 80.5% of total exports, followed by Tin Can Island port which recorded â‚¦793.4billion or 15%. In terms of imports, Apapa Port also recorded the highest transactions valued at â‚¦1,706.5billion or 43.8% of total imports. This was followed by Tin Can Island (₦785.9billion or 20.2%) and Port-Harcourt-3 (₦415.3billion or 10.7%).

Click here to download the full Foreign Trade Statistics Report for Q3 2019

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