According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Nigeria’s total merchandise trade experienced a slight improvement in the first quarter of 2023. The NBS Foreign Trade in Goods Statistics Report for Q1 2023, released in Abuja on Tuesday, attributed the increase to a marginal rise in both import and export trade, resulting in a positive trade balance.
The report highlighted that in Q1 2023, Nigeria’s total trade stood at N12.1 trillion, with total exports amounting to N6.5 trillion and total imports reaching N5.6 trillion. It indicated that total exports increased by 2.00 percent during this period, although there was an 8.66 percent decline compared to the figures recorded in Q4 2022 (N6,359.61 billion) and Q1 2022 (N7,102.11 billion).
Regarding imports, the report revealed a 3.67 percent increase in Q1 2023 compared to the previous quarter’s value of N5,362.83 billion. However, total imports experienced a significant drop of 25.83 percent when compared to the value recorded in Q1 2022 (N7,495.67 billion).
The NBS highlighted that re-exports in the quarter under review amounted to N32.17 billion, representing 0.50 percent of total exports. The top five re-export destinations were Cameroon, Ghana, Equatorial Guinea, the United Kingdom, and Liberia. Vessels and other floating structures for breaking up accounted for the highest re-exported commodity at N21.07 billion, followed by light vessels, fire floats, floating cranes, and other vessels valued at N4.71 billion. Other instruments and appliances for surveying and parts of work-truck used in factories, warehouses, dock areas, or airports were also among the re-exported commodities.
The report stated that the Netherlands was the leading export destination in Q1 2023, accounting for 12.91 percent, followed by the USA at 8.93 percent. Spain, France, and India also featured prominently, with exports to these countries collectively representing 43.92 percent of the total value of exports.
In terms of specific commodities, petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude, held the largest export value in Q1 2023, amounting to N5,148.58 billion (79.37 percent). Other significant exports included “Natural gas, liquefied” (N622.36 billion) and “Urea, whether or not in aqueous solution” (N146.79 billion).
Regarding imports, the report indicated that China, the Netherlands, Belgium, India, and the USA were the top five countries of origin for imports to Nigeria in Q1 2023. These countries collectively accounted for N3.2 trillion (55.78 percent) of the total value of imports. The largest imported products included Motor Spirit Ordinary (N1,492.28 billion), Gas Oil (N472.40 billion), and Durum Wheat (not in seeds) (N249.22 billion).
The NBS report provides insights into Nigeria’s trade performance during the first quarter of 2023, showcasing the modest improvements in both import and export trade. The data serves as a valuable resource for policymakers and economists in assessing the country’s trade dynamics and formulating strategies to enhance economic growth and stability.