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

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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.

UNITED CAPITAL RESEARCH

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