National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), has said that the total value of Nigeria’s external merchandise trade stood at N5.2 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2013.
The figure is contained in a statement issued in Abuja by Dr Yemi Kale, the Statistician-General of the Federation.
The statement quoted Kale as saying the figure was N495.3 billion lower than the N5.6 trillion recorded in the previous quarter, representing an 8.8 per cent decline.
He noted that the observed change was as a result of decline in the value of imports and exports by 19.1 per cent and 2.7 per cent respectively from the previous quarter.
“The value of imports declined from N2.1 trillion in the third quarter to N1.6 trillion in the fourth quarter, while the value of exports declined from N3.5 trillion to N3.5 trillion over the same period.
“The resulting trade balance of N1.7 trillion presented an increase of N302.2 billion or 20.3 per cent from the preceding quarter compared with the fourth quarter of the previous year.
The fourth quarter of the previous year revealed that the value of the nation’s total merchandise trade declined by 28.2 per cent, or N2.1 trillion.’’
The NBS boss said that total trade stood at N21.3 trillion in 2013, 24.3 per cent or N6.8 trillion lower than the N28.1 trillion recorded in 2012, as a result of decline in exports by 36.5 per cent.
He said the crude oil component of total exports stood at N2.9 trillion for the fourth quarter, while non-crude oil accounted for N495.2 billion.
He noted that the value of Nigeria’s imports amounted to N1.6 trillion in the fourth quarter, representing a decline of N398.7 billion or 19.1 per cent from the N2.1 trillion recorded in the third quarter.
Year on year, the value of imports were N393.2 billion or 30.4 per cent greater than the value recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2012.
“The decline in imports can be attributed to the fall in the value of imports of beverages and tobacco by N202.1 billion or 93.8 per cent, a N25.0 billion or 56.7 per cent decline in the value of crude inedible materials.
“Classified sections like boilers, machinery and appliances accounted for the largest share of imports, with N355.9 billion or 21.1 per cent of total imports.