The total value of Nigeria’s external merchandise trade at the end fourth quarter 2014 was N5.7 trillion, indicating that exports outperformed imports leading to visible trade surplus. This was, however, 11.9 per cent lower than the value (N6.5 trillion) recorded in the preceding quarter, according to the report released at the weekend by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
At the end of 2014 Nigeria’s external trade stood at N24.4 trillion. This was N3.2 trillion or 14.9 per cent greater than the value recorded in 2013. This development arose from a sharp rise in the value of exports from N14.4 trillion in 2013 to N17.2 trillion in 2014 (an increase of 20.8 per cent).
A slight increase of N215.6 billion, which amounted to only a 3 per cent rise in imports, also contributed to the very favourable trade balance of N9.97 trillion recorded in 2014. The crude oil component of total trade increased by N982.3 billion or 8.3 per cent over the level recorded in 2013.
Nigeria’s import trade stood at N1.9 trillion at the end of fourth quarter 2014. This was 3.7 per cent more than the value(N1.8 trillion) recorded in the preceding quarter. The structure of Nigeria’s import trade, according to Standard International Trade Classification (SITC) was dominated by the imports of ‘’Machinery and transport equipments”, ‘’Food and Live Animals” and ‘’Manufactured Goods” which accounted for 35.4 per cent, 15.5 per cent and 15.1 per cent respectively in 2014.
These commodities contributed the most to the rise in the value of import trade in 2014, whereas commodities like ‘’Crude inedible material, ‘’Oils, Fat and Waxs”, and ‘’Beverages and Tobacco” contributed the least, accounting for 1.3 per cent, 1.2 per cent and 0.7 per cent respectively. Analysis of import trade by section was dominated by the imports of ‘’Boilers, Machinery and Appliances”, which accounted for N1.7 trillion or 26 per cent of the total value of import trade in 2014.
Other commodities which contributed noticeably to the value of import trade in 2014 were ‘’Mineral Products” at N1.1 trillion or 15.3 per cent, ‘’Vehicles, Aircraft and Parts” N876.5 billion or 12.1 per cent, ‘’Base Metals and Articles of Base Metals” at N673.3 billion or 9.3 per cent, and ‘’Products of Chemical and Allied Industry” at N583.5 billion or 8.1 per cent of total imports value.
At the end of 2014, the import trade classified by Broad Economic Category revealed that ‘’Industrial Supplies Not Elsewhere Classified” ranked first with N1.98 trillion or 27.4 per cent. This was followed by ‘’Capital Goods and Parts” with the value of N1.7 trillion or 22.9 per cent and ‘’Food and Beverages” with N1.2 trillion or 16.7 per cent.
Nigeria’s import trade by Economic Region revealed that the country consumed goods largely from Asia with import value of N3.1 trillion or 43.5 per cent. The country also imported goods valued at N2.4 trillion or 33.7 per cent from Europe, and N1.04 trillion or 14.4 per cent from America.