By Elizabeth Adegbesan
Driven by upsurge in exports of agricultural goods and solid minerals, Nigeria’s foreign trade recovered in 2017 with a N4 trillion trade surplus, up from a deficit of N290.1 billion in 2016.
National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, disclosed this in its Foreign Trade Statistics report for the fourth quarter of 2017 (Q4’17).
The report showed that Nigeria exported N13.5 trillion worth of goods in 2017, up by 59.47 percent from N8.523 trillion in 2016, while it imported N9.56 trillion worth of goods in 2017, up by 8.5 percent from N8.82 trillion in 2016.
The sharp increase in export was driven by triple digit increases in export of agricultural goods, solid minerals and raw materials.
According to the report, export of agricultural goods rose 180.7 percent, while exports of solid minerals rose by 565 percent.
The NBS stated: “Total trade recorded for Q4’17 was N6.022 trillion which represented a decline of 0.7 percent over the Q3’17, and an increase of 13.9 percent in Q4’16. For full year 2017, total trade was N23.2 trillion which is 33.5 percent higher when compared to the 2016 value of N17.3 trillion.
“Trade balance, accordingly, stood at a surplus of N1.8 trillion in Q4’17 compared to the surplus of N1.1trillion recorded in the preceding quarter and the surplus of N671.30 billion in the corresponding quarter of 2016. For full year 2017, trade balance stood at N4.04 trillion compared to a negative trade balance of -N290.1 billion in 2016.”
On exports the report stated: “Total value of export at N3.9 trillion in Q4’17 grew by 9.35 percent over Q3’17 and by 31.27 percent over Q4’16. For full year 2017, total exports of N13.6 trillion was 59.47 percent higher than N8.5 trillion recorded in 2016.
“Agricultural goods exports grew in value by 54.9 percent in Q4’17 (N44.7 billion) in comparison to Q3 2017 (N28.8 billion), up170.9 percent in comparison to Q4’16 (N16.5 billion). For full year 2017, agriculture exports grew 180.7 percent (N170.4 billion) above the value in 2016 (N60.7 billion).”