By Emmanuel Elebeke with agency report
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Nigeria recorded negative trade balance in the first quarter of 2016 which was 22.6 per cent lower that the preceding quarter.
This is contained in the “Foreign Trade Statistics for the First Quarter of 2016’’ released by NBS in Abuja on Tuesday.
The report said that the total value of Nigeria’s merchandise trade at the end of first quarter of 2016 stood at ₦2,723.9 billion.
It said that from the preceding quarter value of ₦3,517.4 billion, this was ₦793.5billion or 22.6 per cent less.
“This development arose due to a sharp decline in both imports and exports.
“Exports saw a decline of ₦671.1 billion or 34.6 per cent, while imports declined by ₦122.4 billion or 7.8 per cent.
“The steep decline in exports brought the country’s trade balance down to ₦184.1 billion, or ₦548.7bilIion less than in the preceding quarter.
“The crude oil component of total trade decreased by ₦716.7 billion or 46.6 per cent against the level recorded in fourth quarter of 2015,’’ the report said.
Meanwhile, the reports said that Nigeria’s import trade by direction showed that the country imported goods mostly from China, with an import value of ₦345.5 billion or 23.8 per cent of total imports.
It said that China was followed by the United States at ₦127.1 billion or 8.7 per cent while India with ₦89.4 billion or 6.1 per cent.
“Netherlands followed India with ₦73.8 billion or 5.1 per cent and United Kingdom with ₦61.4 billion or 4.2 per cent of total imports.
“Imports by economic region revealed that the country consumed goods largely from Asia with import value of ₦611.2 billion or 42.0 per cent,’’ it said.
The report further said that the value of the export trade, totaled ₦1,269.9 billion in first quarter of 2016.
“This is showing a decrease of ₦671.1 billion or 34.6 per cent over the value recorded in the preceding quarter.
“Year-on-Year analysis shows that the country’s exports dropped by ₦1,395.2 billion or 52.3 per cent as against the export value recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2015.
“The structure of Nigeria’s export trade is still dominated by crude oil exports, with the contribution of crude oil to the value of total domestic export trade amounting to ₦821.9 billion or 64.7 per cent,’’ it said.