By Uche Usim

Nigeria’s foreign trade statistics report for Q1 2024 reveals a substantial trade surplus of N6.52 trillion, primarily driven by significant export growth. Total exports reached N19.17 trillion, a 51 per cent increase from Q4 2023, with France, Spain, the Netherlands, India, and the United States being the top export destinations. Imports amounted to N12.64 trillion, with China as the largest import partner, followed by India, the United States, Belgium, and the Netherlands.

This marks a dramatic recovery from the N1.41 trillion trade deficit in Q4 2023 and the N927.2 billion deficit in Q1 2023. The trade surplus for Q1 2024 is the highest on record, surpassing the previous high of N5.74 trillion in Q4 2011. The report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) attributes this to a robust increase in exports and the impact of exchange rate depreciation.

According to the NBS, total exports for Q1 2024 were valued at N19.17 trillion, a 51.00 per cent increase from the previous quarter’s N12.69 trillion and a 195.47 per cent rise from N6.49 trillion in Q1 2023. France was the leading destination for Nigerian exports, accounting for 11.09 per cent of the total export value, followed by Spain (10.56 per cent), the Netherlands (8.85 per cent), India (8.41 per cent), and the United States (6.84 per cent). Major export commodities included crude oil, liquefied natural gas, sesamum seeds, urea, and superior-quality cocoa beans. Crude oil exports, which made up 80.80 per cent of total exports, were valued at N15.49 trillion, marking a 50.20 per cent increase from N10.31 trillion in Q4 2023 and a 200.79 per cent rise from N5.15 trillion in Q1 2023. Agricultural exports also saw significant growth, amounting to N1.04 trillion, up by 123.08 per cent from N463.97 billion in Q4 2023 and by 270.13 per cent from N279.64 billion in Q1 2023.

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The NBS report indicates that total imports for Q1 2024 stood at N12.64 trillion, a 39.65 per cent increase from N9.05 trillion in Q4 2023 and a 95.53 per cent rise from N6.47 trillion in Q1 2023. China was Nigeria’s top trading partner on the import side, contributing 23.18 per cent to the total imports. Other significant import partners included India (8.46 per cent), the United States (7.98 per cent), Belgium (7.56 per cent), and the Netherlands (4.68 per cent). Key imported commodities included motor spirit ordinary, gas oil, durum wheat, cane sugar meant for sugar refinery, and other liquefied petroleum gases. Agricultural goods imports were valued at N920.54 billion, reflecting a 29.45 per cent increase compared to N711.14 billion in Q4 2023 and a 95.28 per cent rise compared to N471.39 billion in Q1 2023. Raw material imports stood at N1.47 trillion, a 51.78 per cent increase from N966.80 billion in Q4 2023 and a 164.18 per cent rise from N555.47 billion in Q1 2023.

France was Nigeria’s largest export partner in Q1 2024, accounting for 11.09 per cent of total exports, driven by demand for Nigerian crude oil and liquefied natural gas. Spain followed closely, representing 10.56 per cent of Nigeria’s total exports, primarily consisting of crude oil and liquefied natural gas.

The Netherlands, with 8.85 per cent of Nigeria’s total exports, imports significant quantities of crude oil and agricultural products like cocoa beans. India accounted for 8.41 per cent of Nigeria’s total exports, heavily dominated by crude oil and agricultural products such as sesamum seeds. The United States took 6.84 per cent of Nigeria’s total exports, focusing on crude oil and other energy products, alongside agricultural commodities.

On the import side, China was Nigeria’s top partner, contributing 23.18 per cent to the total imports, primarily including machinery, transport equipment, and various manufactured goods. India accounted for 8.46 per cent of Nigeria’s total imports, involving pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and industrial machinery. The United States contributed 7.98 per cent to Nigeria’s total imports, with major imports including machinery, transport equipment, and agricultural products. Belgium accounted for 7.56 per cent of Nigeria’s total imports, dominated by machinery, chemical products, and various manufactured goods. The Netherlands, with a 4.68 per cent share of total imports, primarily supplied chemical products, machinery, and transport equipment.


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