The Foreign Trade in Goods Report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), yesterday, showed that during the fourth quarter of 2018, Nigeria’s total merchandise trade stood at N8.61 trillion, down from N9.11 trillion recorded in the third quarter by N460.96 billion or 5.1 per cent.
Analysis showed that the total export component of this trade was recorded at N5.02 trillion, representing an increase of 3.5 per cent over the third quarter of the same year and 28.5 per cent over the corresponding quarter of 2017.
The import component stood at N3.58 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2018, showing a drop of N631.6 billion or 15.0 per cent compared to the third quarter of the same year, but an increase of 69.6 per cent when compared with the corresponding quarter in 2017.
The increase in export value and decrease in import value (relative to third quarter of 2018) resulted in a favourable trade balance.
“The volume of total merchandise trade in 2018 was the highest recorded since 2014, nearly double pre-recession levels,” the report stated.
Analysis showed that imported agricultural products was valued at N5.0 billion, or 2.23 per cent less than in third quarter of 2018, and N8.7 billion or 3.8 per cent lower than fourth quarter of 2017.
The value of raw material imports grew by 9.5 per cent more than the value recorded in third quarter of 2018 and 10.8 per cent more than the value recorded in the fourth quarter of 2017.
The value of energy goods imports was N40 million, or 456.76 per cent higher than in the third quarter of 2018 due to the increased importation of non-coniferous energy goods (ie fuel wood in logs) during the quarter under review. Compared with the corresponding quarter of 2017, it represented a decrease of 70.8 per cent.
The value of other oil products imported was N832.2 billion, or 28.6 per cent lower than in third quarter of 2018 but 118.98 per cent higher than the corresponding quarter of 2017.
Meanwhile, the value of agricultural exports rose by 115.1 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to the third quarter and 696.8 per cent compared to fourth quarter of 2017.
The value of raw material goods exports in the quarter was 26.7 per cent higher than the value in the third quarter and 7.7 per cent higher than the value recorded in fourth quarter of 2017.