The National Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday released the merchandise trade statistics for the second quarter of this year with the country recording a 49 per cent increase in trade from N2.65tn in the first quarter to N3.94tn.
The bureau in the report made available to our correspondent stated that the increase in trade was as a result of a rise of N725.6bn in the value of imports against what was recorded in the preceding quarter.
It said as a result of the improvement in second quarter trade, the country’s negative trade balance has now reduced by N154.8bn to N196.5bn.
The report stated, “The total value of Nigeria’s merchandise trade in Q2, 2016 was ₦3.94tn. This was 49 per cent more than the value of ₦2.64tn recorded in the preceding quarter.
“This development arose from a rise of ₦725.6bn or 63.3 per cent in the value of exports (largely due to exchange rate gains) combined with a rise of ₦570.8bn or 38.1 per cent in the value of imports against the levels recorded in the preceding quarter.
“The current trade position brought the Country’s negative trade balance to – ₦196.5bn during the period under review. This shows a ₦154.8bn reduction in the country’s trade deficit over the previous quarter.”
In terms of the structure of Nigeria’s trade, the report stated that the country’s import stood at N2.06tn at the end of the second quarter, representing an increase of 38.1 per cent from the value ₦1.9tn recorded in the preceding quarter.
As with exports, it said the increase in import value could be traced to a decline in the value of the naira.
It said capital goods and parts with ₦663.6bn or 32.1 per cent accounted for the highest chunk of the country’s import.
This was followed by industrial supplies with N421.2bn or 20.4 per cent, and transport equipments and part with ₦356.1bn or 17.2 per cent.
It said Nigeria’s import trade by direction showed that the country imported goods mostly from China, Netherlands, United States, India and the United Kingdom.
Trade with these countries accounted for ₦493.5bn or 23.9 per cent, N285.7bn or 13.8 per cent, N199bn or 9.6 per cent, N124.9bn or six per cent and ₦119.3bn or 5.8 per cent of the total value of goods imported during the quarter.
For export trade, the report put the value of the export trade, at ₦1.87tn in the second quarter indicating an increase of ₦725.6bn or 63.3 per cent over the value recorded in the preceding quarter.
“The improvement in export value is largely due to the depreciation in the value of the naira,” it added.
The structure of the export trade, the report added, is still dominated by crude oil exports, which contributed ₦1.49tn or 79.7 per cent to the value of total domestic export trade in 2016.