The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Monday, June 7, revealed that Nigeria recorded a N3.94 trillion trade deficit in the first quarter of 2021.
According to the NBS analysis, this implies a negative balance of trade as the Nigerian economy is still import-driven and depends largely on exports of petroleum and some agricultural products to meet foreign exchange earnings.
In 2020, the country recorded its first annual trade deficit in four years as imports exceeded exports by N7.37 trillion.
In its report, “Foreign Trade in Goods Statistics (Q1 2021),”, the NBS revealed that the country’s total merchandise trade stood at N9.76 trillion, an increase of 6.99 percent over the value recorded in Q4, 2020 and 14.13 percent compared to Q1, 2020.
According to the report, Asia, led by China, dominated the foreign trade in the first quarter. The region’s importation dominated foreign importation to the country with a record of N3.3 trillion, representing 48.45 percent.
Asia is followed by Europe with N2.4 trillion, representing 36.08 percent, America N827.8 billion (12.08 percent), while imports from Africa nations stood at N183.4billion (2.68 percent), and Oceania N48.5billion (0.71 per cent).
A further breakdown shows that most imported goods into the country in the first quarter of 2021 were from China. These goods were valued at over N2 trillion, or 29.34 percent. The country was followed by the Netherlands (N726.09 billion or 10.60 %) and the United States (N608.12 or 8.88%).
According to the report, out of the value recorded for Africa, imports from ECOWAS countries accounted for only N20.8 billion.
“The export component of this trade stood at N2.9 trillion, representing 29.79 percent of the total trade while import was valued at N6.9 trillion, representing 70.21 percent,” the report stated.
“The higher level of imports over exports resulted in a trade deficit (in goods) of -N3.9 trillion. The value of crude oil export stood at N1.9 trillion representing 66.38 percent of the total export recorded in Q1, 2021, while non –crude oil export accounted for 33.62 percent of the total export.”