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Nigeria’s trade balance nosedives by 67% to N681bn in Q3’18

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By Babajide Komolafe & Elizabeth Adegbesan
Nigeria’s trade balance nosedived by 67.6 percent, quarter-on-quarter, to N681.3 billion in third quarter of the year (Q3’18), due to upsurge in import.  Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) disclosed this yesterday in its foreign trade report for Q3’18.

The report revealed that foreign trade rose by 30 percent with total imports rising by 73.8 percent while exports rose by 7.8 percent during the quarter.

The report stated: “Nigeria’s external trade totalled N9.025 trillion during the third quarter of 2018.Compared to the value of N6.903 trillion recorded against the second quarter; a rise of N 2.12 trillion or 30.7 percent was indicated.

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“The total export component of this trade was recorded N4.9 trillion, representing increase of 7.8 percent over Q2’18 and 35.7 percent over Q3’17.

“The import component stood at N4.2 trillion in Q3’18 showing 73.8 percent higher than Q2’18. This was due to importation of submersible drilling platforms in August which was quite expensive and of course occasional importation. In the same way, there was a rise of 67.7 percent when compared with the import value of the corresponding quarter in 2017.

“The huge increase in import value during the quarter, resulted into a decrease in the country’s trade balance from N2.10 trillion in Q2 to N681.3 billion in Q3 representing a decrease of 67.6 percent. The year to date (ytd) total trade amounted to N23.14 trillion.”


On value of imports the report noted: “Value of imported Agriculture products   in Q3’18 was 0.1 percent lower than the value recorded in Q2 and 3.10 percent lower than Q3’17.  Value of raw material imports was 11.67 percent more than Q2’18 and 2.19 percent higher than the value in Q3’17. “Solid minerals imports in Q3’18 increased by 0.83 percent compared to Q2’18 and 20.2 percent  more than Q3’17 while Energy goods import in Q3’18 was 90.4 percent  lower than Q2’18 and compared to Q3’17, a decrease of 28.55 percent was recorded.

“Manufactured goods import value was 122.97 percent  in Q3’18 more than in Q2, and 116.08 percent  higher than the level recorded in Q3’17.

“Other oil products, import value was 41.03 percent more than Q2’18 and 36.9 percent more than Q3’17″

According to NBS, Nigeria’s major import trading partners and percentage share to Q3’18 import trade are : Korea, South (29.11 percent), China  (14.17 percent), Netherlands  (11.58 percent), Belgium ( 6.99 percent) and United States  (5.37 percent).

On the classification of import trade during the quarter, the report said:  “  Nigeria’s imports amounted to N4.2 trillion in Q3’18 among which N1.9 trillion imports were machinery and transport equipment (46.5 percent of total import) and N1.02 trillion imports were mineral fuel while chemical and related products accounted for N388.3 billion or 9.3 percent of the total imports during the period under review.

“Other major contributors in this sector were food and live animals which accounted for N336.6 billion and manufactured goods which amounted to N290.1billion during the period under review. In the quarter, most imported products originated from Asia, Europe and America which contributed N2.19 trillion or 52.4 percent, N1.47 trillion or 35.2 percent and N351.6 billion or 8.4 percent of the total imports respectively.

“Nigeria’s imports by country of origin show that the Country imported goods worth N1.21 trillion or 29.1 percent from South Korea. This was an occasional import. As usual Nigeria consumed goods mainly from China, Netherlands, Belgium, and United States which respectively accounted for N591.4 billion or 14.17 percent, N483.2 billion or 11.58 percent, N291.7 billion or 6.99 percent and N224.2 billion or 5.37 percent.”


On export trade during the quarter, the report stated: “Agriculture goods export value in Q3’18 was 47.2 percent lower than Q2’18 and 57.18 percent higher than Q3’17 while raw material exports value increase by 1.63 percent in Q3’18 against the level in Q2, and 21.7 pAercent against Q3’17.

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“Solid minerals exports value in Q3’18 decreased by 51.9 percent compared to Q2’18 and 37.1 percent against Q3’17 while energy goods, exports value in Q3’18 was 6.04 percent lower than Q2 and 31.4 percent higher than Q3’17.

“Manufactured goods exports were 5.9 percent lower than Q2’18 but 52.2 percent  higher than Q3’17 while crude oil exports in Q3’18 was 10.03 percent more than the value recorded in Q2’18 and 39.5 percent higher than the value recorded in Q3’17.

“Other oil products export in Q3’18 was 5.3 percent more in value than Q2’18 and 12.68 percent higher than Q3’17.

According to NBS, Nigeria’s major export trading partners and  percentage share to Q3’18  export trade are :  India (15.76 percent), Spain ( 10.76 percent), France (10.31 percent), South Africa ( 6.91 percent) and Netherlands ( 5.69 percent). On the classification of import trade during the quarter, the report said: The structure of the export trade is still dominated by crude oil exports, which contributed N4.15 trillion or 85.4 percent to the value of total exports in Q3’18.

“Exports by section revealed that Nigeria exported mainly mineral products which accounted for N4.71 trillion or 97.04 percent of the total value of exports.   This was followed by prepared food stuff, beverages, Spirits and Vinegar which accounted for N34.5 billion or 0.7 percent of the total export.

“In the third quarter, Nigeria exported most products to Europe, Asia and America which accounted for N2.03 trillion or 41.9 percent, N1.36 trillion or 28.0 percent and N727.03  billion or 14.9 percent respectively. Furthermore, Nigeria exported goods worth     N715.1 billion or 14.73 percent to Africa  and N16.04 billion or 0.33 percent to     Oceania.

“However, within Africa, Nigeria exported goods valued at N341.1billion or 47.69 percent to Economic of West African States (ECOWAS) member states and this represents 47.69 percent of the total export trade to Africa.

“Exports by country of destination showed that Nigeria exported goods mainly to India, Spain, France, South Africa and Netherlands; in values worth N764.9 billion or 15.76 percent, N522.1 billion or 10.76 percent, N500.31billion or 10.31 percent, N335.28 billion or 6.9 percent and N276.37 billion or  5.69 percent  respectively.   These five countries accounted for 49.43 percent of the total exports in Q3’18.”

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