NBS foreign trade statistics (2018 Q2)

The Foreign Trade in Goods Statistics (Q2 2018) report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) indicates that the total value of foreign trade in Nigeria fell. The report puts total value of merchandise trade at N6,569.98 billion for the 2018 Q2, this is an 8.89% decrease from the value recorded in 2018 Q1.
NBS attributes the decline in total trade to major contractions in both imports and exports.
Although the value of total foreign trade declined, there was an increase in trade surplus compared to Q1, 2018 owing to the greater fall in imports than exports. Total exports was valued at N4,463.3 billion in Q2 2018, representing a 4.9% decline over 2018 Q1, While total imports value was N2,106.7 billion in Q2- a 16.3% decline compared to Q1.
Trade balance for 2018 Q2 was therefore a surplus of N2,356.60 billion, representing an 8.36% rise compared to the surplus recorded in 2018 Q1.
However, there are some disturbing facts from the statistics made available; the value of agricultural imports in the quater increased by 21.7% compared to 2018 Q1, while export value in 2018 Q2 was 17.3% higher than the value in 2018 Q1; also, importation of energy goods was 202.6% higher than its value in 2018 Q1.  
These are indications that the economy is still largely dependent on external economies since imports of agricultural goods was higher than agricultural exports. Also, energy goods imports in Q2 sky-rocketed (202.6%), while exports rose by 5.8% only. The high negative net exports (-196.8%) of energy goods in Q2 indicates significant dependence of the  energy sector on external economies, though the country is blessed with an abundance of energy resources. Hence, specific goals should be set to address the needs of the different sectors of the economy and reduce economic dependence on external economies. Sectoral progress should be tracked regularly based on set-goals so as to identify shortcomings and develop measures to address them appropriately. 

Source : NBS (2018)



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