*As merchandise trade falls by 27% to N6trn
Nigeria’s trading balance for the third consecutive quarter recorded deficit of N1.8 trillion in the second quarter of the year (Q2’20) as merchandise (foreign) trade fell steeply by 27 percent to N6 trillion from N8.6 trillion in Q1’20.
The fall was as a result of a 46 percent decline in exports due to restrictions and lockdown on world economies on the basis of Corona Virus pandemic outbreak during the period.
In its Q2’20 Foreign Trade in Goods Statistics, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) noted that within the months comprising Q2, April recorded the highest decline as exports dropped by 21 percent to N686.2 billion from N965.6 billion in March due to a total lockdown of the nations economy during the period.
Similarly, imports fell quarter-quarter (QoQ) by 12 percent to N4.02 trillion in Q2’20 from N4.5 trillion in Q1’20. The decline was as a result of fall in the value of mineral fuels, Machinery and Transport equipment and Miscellaneous manufactured article.
NBS stated:”The value of Nigeria’s merchandise trade stood at N6.2 trillion in Q2, 2020. This indicates a sharp fall of 27.3 percent in Q2’20 compared to Q1’20 and 27.5 percent compared to Q2’19.
“The value of total trade year to date amounted to N14,829.4billion, indicating a drop of 11.9 percent compared to half year 2019.
“The import component was valued at N4.02 trillion representing a drop of 11 percent in Q2’20 against the level recorded in Q1’20 but an increase of 0.39 percent year-on-year.
“The export component accounted for N2.22 trillion of the total trade, indicating a decline of 45.6 percent against the value recorded in Q1’20 and 51.7 percent compared to Q2’19.
“Consequently, the trade balance recorded a deficit of N1.8 trillion, marking the third consecutive quarter of negative trade balance. This compares with trade in goods deficit of N421.3 billion recorded in Q1’20 and N579.06 billion recorded in Q4’19.
“The value of exports in Q2’20 stood at N2.22 trillion, a decrease of 45.64 percent compared to Q1’20 and 51.73 percent compared to Q2’19. The year to date export amounted to N6.3 trillion, representing a 31 percent decline compared to 2019.
“The value of total imports amounted to N4.02 trillion in Q2’20. This represents a drop of 10.7 percent against the level recorded in Q1’20 but an increase of just 0.39 percent year-on-year. “The year to date import value amounted to N8.5 trillion, or 10.58 percent over half year 2019.
“The fall in value of import in Q2’20 can be attributed to the decrease in the value of mineral fuels (N1.03 trillion or 82.35 percent), Machinery and Transport equipment (N147.2billion or 8.43 percent ) and Miscellaneous manufactured articles (N157.5 billion or 47.94 percent ) against their respective values in Q1’20.”