Nigeria has increased its balance of trade to N4.9 trillion as at September 2018, surpassing the 2017 full year figure of N4.03 trillion on the back of improved crude oil exports, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has shown.
Data by the stats office indicated that Nigeria’s total export value year to date was N14.05 trillion, already higher than the 2017 full year figure of N13.59 trillion and 2016 figure of N8.52 trillion by 3.4 and 35 per cents respectively.
The positive balance of trade also reflected lower levels of imports as indicated by the data which that total value of goods worth N9.09 trillion were imported in the nine months period, compared with N9.562 trillion in 2017, which was 5.2 percent lower.
The rise boosts Nigeria’s ambition to promote exports to support its fragile economy and earn foreign exchange while reducing imports.
Total value of trade was however at par with data showing N23.14 trillion from January to September 2018 compared to N23.16 trillion for 2017.
A breakdown of the country’s exports by sector indicated that the manufacturing sector received a major boost recording total export of goods valued at N570 billion in the first nine months of the year compared to N232 billion in the whole of 2017, indication an improvement of 145.7 per cent.
The value of agricultural goods exports stood at N204.5 billion in the nine months period compared to N170.4 billion in 2017, already marking an increase of 20 per cent.
Raw material exports however declined an indication that the country is likely utilizing more of its raw materials for local production. Total export value of N96.5 billion was recorded from January to September compared to N112.9 billion for 2017.
Solid minerals exports in the first three quarters was N56.7 billion while for the full year 2017 it was N77.2 billion .
Export of crude oil and other oil products amounted to N11.494 trillion and N1.59 trillion respectively in the nine months period of 2018, jointly accounting for 93.2 per cent of the nation’s export while the 2017 full year figures showed N11.026 trillion and N1.94 trillion respectively.
On the import side, the country recorded slower levels of imports in all sectors except for the manufacturing sector where N4.98 billion in the nine months period against N4.6 billion in the full year 2017, fueled by some Nigerians preference for imported products.
Agricultural goods worth N633.3 billion were imported into the country in the first nine months as against N886.8 billion in 2017.
Raw materials imports stood at N837.5 billion in nine months against N1.13 trillion the whole of last year.