Nigeria has recorded its first quarterly trade deficit since July 2016 as the value of its export fell by 9.79 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2019 while imports surged by 37.20 per cent.
The National Bureau of Statistics, in its latest Foreign Trade in Goods Statistics report released on Friday, said the value of Nigeria’s total trade rose by 10.15 per cent to N10.12tn in Q4 2019 over the value recorded in Q3.
It said the value of the export component dropped by 9.79 per cent to N4.77tn in Q4 compared to Q3, while the import component increased by 37.20 per cent to N5.35tn.
“The faster increase in imports resulted in a negative trade balance of N579.06bn during the quarter under review, the first since mid-2016,” the NBS said.
According to the report, the value of total trade in 2019 rose by 14.05 per cent to N36.15tn compared to 2018.
The bureau, however, noted that the value of total trade jumped by 36.86 per cent year-on-year in 2018.
It said the level of imports stood at N16.96tn in 2019 while exports were valued at N19.19tn, resulting in a trade balance of N2.23tn.
“While imports rose by 28.8 per cent in 2019 over 2018, exports rose by only 3.6 per cent, and the trade balance was 58.4 per cent less than in 2018,” the NBS added.