By Cecilia Ologunagba
Abuja – The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), said foreign trade recorded fourth consecutive rise from N16.29 trillion in 2015 to N32.26 trillion in 2018.
The NBS said this in its “Foreign Trade in Goods Statistics for Fourth Quarter of 2018” posted on its website.
The bureau said foreign trade in 2015 was N16.29 trillion, N17.34 trillion in 2016, N23.16 trillion in 2017 and it rose to N32.26 trillion in 2018.
The bureau said the volume of total merchandise trade in 2018 was the highest recorded since 2014, almost doubled pre-recession levels.
Meanwhile, the bureau said during the fourth quarter of 2018, total merchandise trade stood at N8.60 trillion compared to its value of N9.06 trillion recorded in third quarter of the year.
The country’s major export trading partners as at fourth quarter, 2018 were India, Spain, France, South Africa and the Netherlands, while China, U.S., Netherlands, India and Belgium were the major import trading partners.
The major import items were machinery and transport equipment, mineral fuel, chemical related products and food and live animals as well as manufacturing goods.
The report said Nigeria’s imports were valued at N3.6 billion in fourth quarter, 2018 of which machinery and transport equipment accounted for N1.48 billion or 41.4 per cent of total imports during the quarter.
It said mineral fuel worth N83 billion or 23.2 per cent of total imports was also recorded while the importation of chemical and related products accounted for N398.1 billion or 11.1 per cent of the total imports during the quarter.
Other major categories of imports were food and live animals as well as manufactured goods which accounted for N349 billion (9.7 per cent) and N286 billion (7.98 per cent) of total imports during the quarter.
The major import origins for Nigeria during the quarter were Asia, Europe and America each of which contributed N1.6 billion or 42.9 per cent, N1.4 billion or 39.0 per cent and N511 billion or 14.3 per cent of the total imports.
Imports from Africa totaled N114 billion or 3.2 per cent, while imports from the ECOWAS region accounted for N23 billion or 20 per cent of the total imports from African countries.
Nigeria’s imports by country of origin shows imported goods were predominantly from China valued at N900 billion or 25.1 per cent of the value of total imports.
Other import origins were the U.S., the Netherlands, India and Belgium which accounted for N373 billion or 10.4 per cent, N327 billion or 9.1 per cent, N231 billion or 6.5 per cent and N197 billion or 5.57 per cent.
The value of total imports from the top originating country was equivalent to the sum of total imports from the following three countries.
Meanwhile, the exports were agricultural products, raw materials, solid materials, energy goods, manufactured goods, crude oil and oil products.
The structure of Nigeria’s export trade valued at N5.02 billion in fourth quarter, 2018 was dominated by crude oil exports, which contributed N4.3 billion or 84.2 per cent to the value of total exports.
By section, Nigeria exported mainly mineral products which accounted for N5 billion or 95.7 per cent of the total value of exports.
This was followed by prepared food stuff, beverages, Spirits and Vinegar which accounted for N60 billion or 1.2 per cent of total exports.
In the fourth quarter of 2018, Nigeria exported mostly to Europe, Asia and America, each of which accounted for N2.2 billion or 43.2 per cent, N1.43 billion or 28.4 per cent and N702 billion or 13.98 per cent.
Furthermore, Nigeria exported goods worth N708 billion or 14.1 per cent to other parts of Africa, of which goods valued at N338 billion or 48 per cent was exported to the ECOWAS region.
Export trade by country of destination showed that Nigeria exported goods mainly to India, Spain, France, South Africa and the Netherlands.
The value to the five countries were N780 billion or 15.5 per cent, N569 billion or 11.33 per cent, N496 billion or 9.9 per cent, N340 billion or 6.8 per cent and N328 billion or 6.5 per cent.
These five countries accounted for 50 per cent of the total exports of the quarter under review.