*Non-oil export slides 11% on border closure
By Elizabeth Adegbesan
Nigeria recorded $1.4 billion trade deficit in August 2020 even as the value of external trade increased by 12 per cent to $5.8 billion from $5.1 billion in July.
Meanwhile, the value of non-oil export declined by 11 percent to $32 million, owing to the closure of land borders by the government.
These were contained in the latest Monthly Economic Report for August 2020 released by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.
On trade deficit, the report said:”A higher trade deficit of $1.39 billion was recorded in August 2020, compared with $0.88 billion in July 2020, on account of increased business activities amidst relaxation of restrictions imposed during the lockdown.
“The value of aggregate external trade increased by 12.1 percent to $5.7 billion in August 2020 compared with $5.08 billion in July 2020, as a result of increased export volumes.
“It, however, indicated a decline of 46 percent, below the $10.5 billion in the corresponding period of 2019.
“Following the improvement in economic activities as the global economy gradually reopened, data showed that exports increased by 2.5 percent to $2.2 billion over its level in July 2020, due largely to improvements in crude oil prices in the international oil market.
“Similarly, merchandise imports increased to $3.20 billion in August 2020.
“Relative improvements in crude oil prices and production resulted in an increase in crude oil exports by 10 percent to $1.6 billion in August 2020, compared with $1.44 billion in July 2020.
“However, they declined by 60.6 percent, relative to the $4.01 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2019.”
The report also showed that closure of the country’s borders resulted in an 11 percent decline in value of non-oil exports to $32 million from $36 million in July.
It stated:” Despite the gradual pick-up of economic activities, the Nigerian borders remained closed, resulting in a decrease in the value of non-oil exports by 11 percent to $0.32 billion in August 2020, compared with $0.36 billion in July 2020.”