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Imports rise by 67% in H1’19, balance of trade declines

By Elizabeth Adegbesan

The value of Nigeria’s imports rose to N4 trillion in the first half of 2019 (H1’19) up 67 per cent from N2.4 trillion in H1’18 resulting in a decline in trade balance to N588.8 billion during the period.

Imports

 (NBS) said that Bureau disclosed this in its report for the second quarter of 2019 (Q2’19).

Vanguard analysis of data on ‘Foreign Trade in Goods Statistics’ released yesterday by the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS,  show that the development resulted in a massive 71 per cent decline in the country’s trade balance to N588.8 billion in H1’19 from N2.1 trillion in H1’18.

However, the Bureau said that the country’s trade stood at N8.6 trillion comprising N4 trillion from imports and N4.6 trillion from exports during the period.

The report read:  “The major product imported during the quarter was Machinery and transport equipment valued at N1, 674.4 billion, or 41.78 per cent of total imports. Other major imports during the quarter were mineral fuels (N909.7 billion or 22.8 per cent of total imports) and Chemical & related products (N428.2 billion or 10.7 per cent).

“During the quarter, Nigeria imported goods mainly from Asia, valued at N1.8 trillion or 44.4 per cent of total imports. Other imports originated from Europe (valued at N1,422.9 billion or 35.51%), Americas (N544.3billion or 13.58 per cent), Africa (N241.7 billion or 6.03 per cent) and Oceania (N20.7billion or 0.52 per cent). Within Africa, import trade with ECOWAS was valued at N146.1 billion, or 60 per cent of total imports from Africa.

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“By country of origin, Nigeria imported goods worth N1,020.6 billion (or 25.47 per cent of total imports) from China, and N422.1 billion worth of goods (or 10.53 per cent) from the United States. Other major trading partners were the Netherlands, India and Belgium which respectively accounted for imports valued at N374.1 billion (or 9.33 per cent), N299.8 billion (or 7.48 per cent) and N248.9 billion (or 6.21 per cent).

 “The trade balance remained favourable, valued at N588.8billion. Combined with the Q1’19 performance, however, the trade balance declined by 63.14 per cent relative to the same period in 2018, while the value of total trade was 15.43 per cent higher at H1’19 than for the same period in 2018. This performance was large as a result of stronger growth in the value of imports far outpacing growth in the value of exports which rose only marginally. The value of total exports has remained relatively stable since 2018, but the value of imports has maintained its steady rise, hence the decline in trade balance since mid-2018.”

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