Wednesday, January 19

Surge in import bill pushes Nigeria’s foreign trade to N13.3 trillion in Q3 2021

Nigeria’s foreign trade increased by 58.6% year-on-year in the third quarter of 2021, reaching a record N13.28 trillion from N8.38 trillion recorded in the corresponding period of 2020. This is according to the recently released foreign trade report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

According to the report, Nigeria’s import bill surged by a massive 51.5% to N8.15 trillion from N5.38 trillion recorded in Q3 2020. It also increased by 17.3% when compared to the previous quarter (Q2 2021).

On the other hand, Exports during the period increased by 71.4% to N5.1 trillion compared to N2.99 trillion recorded in the corresponding period of 2020. When compared to the previous quarter, it only managed a 1% increase compared to N5.08 trillion in Q2 2021.

Key highlights

Total Imports value stood at N8.15 trillion in Q3 2021 was 17.32% higher than Q2 2021 and 51.47% higher than Q3 2020.

  • The value of Imported Agricultural goods was 21.01% higher than the value recorded in Q2 2021 and 56.74% higher than Q3 2020.
  • The value of Raw Material imports was 9.08% more than Q2, 2021, and 29.06% more than the value in Q3 2020.
    Solid Minerals imports in Q3 2021 increased by 10.93% compared to Q2 2021 and 53.42% compared to Q3 2020.
  • The value of Total Exports stood at N5.13 trillion in Q3 2021 representing an increase of 1% over Q2 2021 and 71.38% over Q3 2020.
  • Agricultural goods export value in Q3, 2021 was 5.9% lower than Q2 2021 but 31.0% higher than Q3 2020.
    Raw Material exports value increased by 135.2% in Q3 2021 against the level in Q2 2021 and 1,241.1% higher than Q3 2020.
  • Solid Minerals exports value in Q3 2021, increased by 22.7% compared to Q2 2021 and 222.8% compared to Q3 2020.

It is worth noting that Nigeria’s foreign trade deficit continued for the 8th consecutive quarter, reaching a negative trade balance of N3.02 trillion compared to N1.87 trillion deficit recorded in the previous quarter.

Crude exports accounted for 78.48% of the total export value recorded in the period under review at N4.06 trillion, distantly followed by liquefied natural gas with N487.5 billion, representing 9.5% of the total exports. Meanwhile, petrol import during the third quarter, stood at N1.05 trillion, which is 12.91% of the total.

In terms of trading partners, the top five major trading partners in export trade during the 3rd Quarter, 2021 were India with N758.1 billion, Spain with N627.01 billion, Italy with N446.04 billion, France with N363.23 billion and Netherlands with N242.49 billion.

Similarly, the top import trading partners in the period under review were China with N2.44 trillion, India with N710.35 billion, United States with N599.12 billion, Netherlands with N554.23 billion and Belgium with N434.12 billion.

What this means

Nigeria continues to record negative trade balance, exacerbated by a significant surge in its import bill. The negative trend means that Nigeria continues to spend more on the importation of foreign products at the expense of scarce foreign currency, while export value is not growing at the same pace.

This in turn could affect the country’s current balance and by extension put more pressure on the naira against other currencies.