The total value of Nigeria's trade in goods amounted to N7.21 trillion at the end of the first Quarter of 2018, representing a growth of N1.18 trillion or 19.74 per cent from the N6.02 trillion recorded in the last quarter of 2017, following a rise in crude oil production and non-oil exports.
According to the latest data on Foreign Trade in Goods Report, which was released yesterday by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the increase in trade was driven by the stronger growth in exports compared to imports.
With the total value of exports closing at N4.69 trillion in the period under review, the exports value was dominated by crude oil, although the proportion of non-crude oil export increased from 17 per cent in the last quarter to approximately 24 per cent Q1.
The value of crude oil export stood at N3.58 trillion in the first quarter of 2018, which accounted for 76.3 per cent of the total exports from Nigeria.China remained the top importing partner for Nigeria in the first quarter, while import trade from African countries was valued at N94.1 billion (3.7 per cent of the total import) and imports from the region of ECOWAS amounted to N17.8 billion.
The total trade value in Q1, 2018, also shows a 35.07 per cent growth compared to the amount of N5.34 trillion recorded in same quarter last year.Similarly, the trade balance in Q1, 2018 was N2.17 trillion, which increased by 20.95 per cent from the last quarter in 2017, and 221.08 per cent over the same quarter in 2017. In terms of import, the total import component in the first quarter (N2.51trillion) also recorded a growth of 19.22 per cent on a quarter on quarter basis, and 8.04 per cent year on year.
The total value of imports into Nigeria in the first quarter was dominated by mineral fuel at N845 billion or 33.6 per cent of the total import, while N669.1 billion was expended on machinery and transport equipment.In the first quarter of 2018, the value of mineral fuel products imports increased by 122.2 per cent compared to the last quarter of 2017.Europe and Asia continued to dominate as import destination into Nigeria in the reviewing quarter, both recorded import values of N1,154.70 billion and N989.19 billion respectively.
The value of imports from these two continents grew by 35.71 per cent and 17.06 per cent respectively compared to the last quarter in 2017, and they jointly represented more than 85 per cent of the total imports in the first quarter of 2018. The value of imported goods from America (N254.32 billion), however, decreased by 16.12 per cent from the previous quarter (N303.18 billion).
In the first quarter, the top five import destination for Nigeria was China, Netherlands, Belgium, USA and India. The Import value from the five countries was N530.98 billion or 21.1 per cent (of the total import), N305.80 billion or 12.1 per cent, N266.69 billion or 10.6 per cent, N163.94 billion or 6.5 per cent and N157.92 billion or 6.3 per cent respectively.
The total trade of agricultural goods in Q1, 2018 stood at N257.7 billion, in which exports and imports recorded N73.25 billion and N184.49 billion respectively.Exports of agricultural products in the first quarter grew by 63.84 per cent compared to 44.71 billion recorded in the last quarter of 2017, while imports in the reviewing quarter decreased by 18.90 per cent compared to N227.50 billion recorded in the previous quarter. Agricultural products in the quarter under review, were mainly exported to Asia (N37.8 billion) and Europe (N32.7 billion).