StorY by Ayo Fadimu
Nigeria’s total trade with its foreign trade partners rose to N8.6 trillion in the second quarter (Q2) of 2019, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has said.
The value of total trade in Q2 was higher by 4.4% when compared to first quarter (Q1) 2019, but 24.2% higher when compared with Q2, 2018. The N8.6 trillion general trade value comprises of 46.6% imports valued at N4,007 trillion and 53.4% exports worth N4,596.2 trillion. In Q2 2019, total trade grew by 4.42% compared to Q1 2019, and by 24.16% relative to Q2 2018. Combined with the Q1 2019 performance, the value of total trade as at half year 2019 was 15.43% higher than for the same period in 2018.
In Q2 2019, the value of total imports rose by 8.20% compared to Q1 2019, and by 65.21% over the corresponding quarter of 2018. The value of imports for the first half of 2019 rose 43.63% over the corresponding period in 2018. The value of imported Agricultural products was 5.79% higher in Q2, 2019 than Q1 2019, and 11.33% higher than Q2, 2018.
The value of total exports in Q2 2019 increased by 1.34% against the level recorded in Q1, 2019 and 2.06% when compared with its value in Q2, 2018. The value of exports for the first half of 2019 fell by 1% compared to the first half of 2018.
The NBS said Nigeria’s trade balance remains favourable, valued at N588.8 billion. However, the trade balance declined by 63.14% relative to the same period in 2018, while the value of total trade was 15.43% higher at half year 2019 than for the same period in 2018.
According to the statistics board, the performance was largely as a result of stronger growth in the value of imports far outpacing growth in the value of exports which rose only marginally. The value of total exports has remained relatively stable since 2018, but the value of imports has maintained its steady rise, hence the decline in trade balance since mid-2018.
The report attributed the slower growth in exports to a combination of slower growth in the value of crude oil exports and decline in the value of non-crude oil exports in the period under review. In Q2, 2019 crude oil remained the major export as it accounted for 85.6% (N3,934.6 billion) of total exports while non-crude oil exports contributed 14.37% (N661.6billion).
On a year on year basis, the value of crude oil exports was 4.4% higher in Q2 2019 than in Q2 2018, and 16.52% higher than in Q1 2019. At half year 2019, the value of crude oil exports declined only slightly by -0.5% relative to half year 2018. On the other hand, the value of non-crude oil exports declined by almost 3% as at half year 2019, by 10% relative to Q2 2018 and by 43% relative to Q1 2019. Nevertheless, excluding all oil-related commodity exports, the value of non-oil exports rose by 4.1% in Q2 2019 relative to Q2 2018, and by almost 5% at half year 2019 relative to the same period in 2018.