‘Q1 balance of trade shores up Nigeria’s economy’
The bureau affirmed that the rise in exports and lower imports had helped to improve the country’s trade balance which increased by 71.6 per cent from the preceding quarter, to ₦N1,584.9 billion.
However, in comparison with the corresponding quarter of 2014, the value of total merchandise trade decreased by ₦N639.5billion or 11.6 per cent, while the trade balance decreased by ₦N839.1 billion or 34.6 per cent.
A breakdown of Q1 Foreign trade statistics report made available to The Guardian, indicated that the current trade balance is marginally lower (2.2 per cent) than values of the last quarter which was N4,985.6billion.
The report further showed that although the general outlook of merchandize looked good on the export level with 9.3 per cent export value, it was nothing compared with the far impressive figures of the preceding quarter which stood at 19.0 per cent export value.
“The total value of Nigeria’s merchandise trade at the end of Quarter One, 2015, stood at ₦N4,875.4 billion. From the preceding quarter value of ₦N4,985.6 billion, this was ₦N110.2 billion or 2.2 per cent less. Despite a rise of ₦N275.6 billion or 9.3 per cent in the value of exports against levels recorded in the preceding quarter, a decline of ₦N385.8 billion or 19.0 per cent in the value of imports resulted in an overall decline in the value of merchandise trade”, the bureau said.
When classified by origin, the report indicated that Nigeria imported goods mostly from China, United States, Belgium, Netherlands, and India ,even as drop in import level spurred by rise in value of dollar as against weaker naira stood at marginal N1,645.3 billion.
Imported items such as “Boilers”, “Machinery and Appliances” dominated the trade value for the period under review.”Vehicles”, “Aircraft spare parts”, “Base metals and articles of industry also featured prominently on the import list.
“The value of Nigeria’s imports stood at ₦N1,645.3 billion, at the end of Q1, 2015, a decrease of ₦N385.8 billion or 19.0 per cent from ₦N2,031.0 billion recorded in the preceding quarter. Year-on- year however, the value of the country’s imports increased by ₦99.8billion or 6.5 per cent from the Q1, 2014 value of ₦1,545.44 billion.
“The structure of Nigeria’s imports classified by section revealed that imports of “boilers, machinery and appliances” dominated, accounting for 27.7 per cent of the total value of imports in Q1, 2015.
Other commodities which contributed considerably to the value of imports in the review period were “Mineral Products” (13.1 per cent), “Base Metals and Articles of Base Metals” (10.2per cent), “Vehicles, Aircraft and Associated Parts” (9.6 per cent), and “Products of the Chemical and Allied Industries” (8.7 per cent). The key drivers of the year on year growth were “Boilers, Machinery and Appliances” and “Vegetable Products”, which increased by ₦88.7billion or 24.2 per cent and by ₦33.8billion or 47.6 per cent from Q1 of 2014 values respectively.
The bureau said Imports classified by Broad Economic Category, revealed that “Industrial Supplies not elsewhere classified”, ranked highest on monetary value with total of ₦491.4 billion or 29.9 per cent of total Q1, 2015 imports. This was followed by “Capital Goods and Parts” with the value of ₦418.3 billion or 25.4 per cent of the total, and “Food and Beverage”, with ₦257.8 billion or 15.7 per cent of total imports. The product with the greatest import value was “Motor Spirit”, which stood at ₦181.3billion or 11.0 per cent of the total.