By Francis Ogwo
Nigeria’s trade deficit has reached a three-year high of N2.4 trillion in the third quarter 2020 (Q3’20), 33 percent up from N1.8 trillion recorded in the preceding quarter, Q2’20. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reveals.
This was part of its latest Foreign Trade in Goods Statistics Information released on Monday.
According to the NBS, the total merchandise trade during the period comprises N5.4 trillion import components and N2.9 export component while adding that on a quarterly basis. The value of imports rose by 33 percent to N5.4 trillion in Q3’20 from N4 trillion in Q2’20, while the value of exports rose by 35 percent to N2.9 trillion from N2.2 trillion in Q2’20.
The report stated: “Aside from Q2’20, the value of exports in Q3’20 represented the lowest level of any quarter since 2017. Due to lower exports and higher imports compared to 2019, the trade balance recorded a deficit of N2.4 trillion during the third quarter. This also represents the widest merchandise trade deficit since 2017. When compared to the deficit of N1.8 trillion recorded in Q2, the Q3 deficit rose by 33 percent.”
“The value of Nigeria’s merchandise trade stood at N8.4 trillion in Q3’20. This represents an increase of 34 percent in Q3’20 compared to Q2’20 (N6.2 trillion) but a decline of nine percent compared to Q3’19. Total trade year to date amounted to N23 trillion.”
“The import component was valued at N5.4 billion representing an increase of 34 percent in Q3’20 against the level recorded in Q2’20 and 38 percent compared to Q3’19. The value of imports in Q3’20 represented the highest level for any quarter since 2017.
“The increase in the value of imports in Q3’20 can be attributed to the increases in the value of mineral fuels (N484.4billion or 219 percent), machinery & transport equipment (N314.9 billion or 20 percent) and chemicals and related products (N261billion or 34 percent) against their respective values in Q2’20.”
The NBS also noted that: “The export component accounted for N2.9 trillion of the total trade in Q3’20 indicating an increase of 35 percent compared to the value recorded in Q2’20 but a decrease of 43 percent compared to Q3’19.
“Exports by section revealed that mineral products accounted for the largest proportion of exports, amounting to N2.8 trillion or 93 percent. This was due to the crude oil component of this section. This was followed by Vehicles aircraft and parts (N103. 4 billion or 4.0 percent) and others,” the NBS concluded.