The value of agricultural goods exports for the fourth and last quarter of 2017 increased by 54.9 percent quarter-on-quarter to N44.7 billion from the N28.8 billion in Q3, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The NBS report indicated that agriculture exports in Q4 2017 were driven largely by the export of sesamum seeds, which accounted for N15.8 billion or 35.3 percent of the total agriculture exports and 0.40 percent of total exports.
During the quarter under review, sesamum seeds worth N6.3 billion were exported to China, N3.0 billion to Turkey and N2.4 billion to Japan.
Cocoa bean export trailed sesamum seed’s as its exports value stood at N14.5 billion or 33 percent of total agriculture exports and 0.37 percent of total exports in the quarter. The cocoa produce was exported in principally to the Netherlands (N7.4 billion), Malaysia (N2.9 billion) and Indonesia (N2.3 billion) in the review period.
The total value of trade in agricultural goods (both exports and imports) in Q4 2017 stood at N272.2 billion, representing 4.52 percent of total trade for the quarter.
Specifically, agricultural exports accounted for 1.14 percent of total exports and 10.8 percent of total imports in the period.
Other major agricultural products exported in the period under review include frozen shrimps worth N4billion or 9 percent of total agriculture exports, mainly shipped to Netherlands (N1.9 billion), Belgium (N0.6 billion), and Vietnam (N0.6 billion); flour and soya beans worth N3.6 billion (8.0 per cent of agriculture exports) exported mainly to Spain (N2.5 billion) and France (N0.99 billion); and cashew nuts worth N2.1 billion (4.7 per cent of agriculture exports) exported mainly to Vietnam (N2.1 billion).
Others include crude palm kernel oil worth N911 million and ginger worth N786 million.
On the other hand, agricultural imports were valued at N227.5 billion in the period under review compared to N231.5 billion in the preceding quarter and N231.8 billion in Q2 2017. The value of imports thus represents a 1.7 percent decrease over Q3 2017 and a 15.9 percent increase over Q4 2016.
Major agriculture imports in the period, according to the report, include Durum wheat (seeds) worth N313.2 billion from United States, N132.2 from Russia, N128.1billion from Canada; Durum wheat (not in seeds) worth N140.4 billion from Russia, N97.1 billion from the United States, N83.5 billion from Canada, N7.2 billion from Australia; as well as Herrings worth N47.2 billion from Netherlands, N21.7 billion from Russia; and Mackerel meat, frozen worth N44.1 billion from Netherlands.