By Steve Agbota

Nigeria’s economic landscape witnessed a continued reliance on key international partners in the fourth quarter of 2023, as imports from Singapore, China and India played a critical role in meeting the nation’s import demands.

The latest report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has shown that import value surged to N14.3 billion, while export value stood at N12.69 billion.

Among the top import sources, Singapore emerged as a dominant player, contributing significantly to Nigeria’s import basket. The Asian powerhouse supplied goods worth billions, China followed closely, with imports valued also at billions, highlighting the extensive trade ties between Nigeria and the two Asian countries.

Additionally, India and other key partners also featured prominently, indicating Nigeria’s diversified import sources and the global reach of its trade network.

 The report identifies petroleum products as the leading export category, underscoring Nigeria’s status as a major player in the global energy sector.

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 The value of re-exports stood at N50.91 billion representing 0.40 per cent of total exports. Details analysis on re-exports revealed that the top five re-export destinations were Malaysia, Cameroun, Italy, Ghana, and the Netherlands and the most re-exported commodity was ‘Vessels and other floating structures for breaking up, with N13.67 billion.

This was followed by Mechanically-propelled vessels for the transport of goods, gross tonnage 500 tonnes’ valued at N6.76 billion, other machinery of heading 84.30, not self-propelled amounting to N6.26 billion, Tugs and pusher craft valued at N4.54 billion, and ‘Artificial filament tow of cellulose acetate’ valued at N2.42 billion.

 Further analysis on fourth quarter trade by partners shows that the top five export destinations in Q4, 2023 were the Netherlands with N1, 910.47 billion or 15.05 per cent, India with N1, 101.47 billion or 8.68 per cent, Spain with N1, 030.09 billion or 8.11 per cent, Canada with N907.64 billion or 7.15 per cent, France with N799.77 billion or 6.30 per cent of total exports. Altogether, exports to the top five countries amounted to 45.29 per cent of the total value of exports.

The largest exported product in the fourth quarter of 2023 was ‘petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude’ valued at N10, 310.70 billion representing 81.23 per cent, this was followed by ‘natural gas,’ with N1, 015.84 billion accounting for 8.00 per cent, and ‘Urea, whether or not in aqueous solution’ with N251.90 billion or 1.98 per cent of total exports.

 In terms of Imports (CIF), the top five trading partners were Singapore with goods valued at N5, 092.36 billion or 36.09 per cent, China with N2, 060.59 billion or 14.61 per cent, Belgium with N1, 140.97 billion or 8.09 per cent, India with N908.59 billion or 6.44 per cent and The United States of America with goods valued at N512.99 billion or 3.64 per cent. The values of imports from the top five countries amounted to N9, 715.50.