Home Latest Insights | News Nigeria Records N6.52tn Trade Surplus in Q1 2024, Driven by Surge in Exports

Nigeria Records N6.52tn Trade Surplus in Q1 2024, Driven by Surge in Exports

Nigeria Records N6.52tn Trade Surplus in Q1 2024, Driven by Surge in Exports

Nigeria has achieved a significant trade surplus of N6.52 trillion in the first quarter of 2024, marking a remarkable recovery from the trade deficits recorded in previous quarters.

This surplus, the highest since 2009, underscores the country’s strong economic performance and is a substantial improvement from the N1.41 trillion deficit in Q4 2023 and the N927.2 billion deficit in Q1 2023, according to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The Q1 2024 surplus surpasses the previous record of N5.74 trillion set in Q4 2011. This impressive economic turnaround is largely driven by a substantial increase in exports, which totaled N19.17 trillion, a 51.00% increase from the previous quarter’s N12.69 trillion and a 195.47% rise from N6.49 trillion in Q1 2023.

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The exchange rate depreciation also played a role in enhancing the Naira value of trade.

Export Performance Highlights

Crude oil exports dominated, accounting for 80.80% of total exports at N15.49 trillion. This represents a 50.20% increase from N10.31 trillion in Q4 2023 and a staggering 200.79% rise from N5.15 trillion in Q1 2023. Other major exports included liquefied natural gas, sesamum seeds, urea, and superior-quality cocoa beans.

France emerged as the leading destination for Nigerian exports, accounting for 11.09% of the total export value. This was followed closely by Spain, which represented 10.56% of Nigeria’s total exports. Similar to France, Spain’s imports from Nigeria largely consist of crude oil and liquefied natural gas, underlining the strong energy trade ties between Nigeria and the European Union.

The Netherlands accounted for 8.85% of Nigeria’s total exports. The country’s significant import of Nigerian crude oil and agricultural products like cocoa beans affirms its strategic trade relationship with Nigeria. India accounted for 8.41% of Nigeria’s total exports.

The trade with India is heavily dominated by crude oil, which forms the backbone of the bilateral trade relationship. Additionally, India imports agricultural products such as sesamum seeds from Nigeria.

The United States was responsible for 6.84% of Nigeria’s total exports in Q1 2024. The trade relationship primarily revolves around the export of crude oil and other energy products, alongside agricultural commodities.

Import Performance Highlights

Total imports for Q1 2024 stood at N12.64 trillion, reflecting a 39.65% increase from N9.05 trillion in Q4 2023 and a 95.53% rise from N6.47 trillion in Q1 2023. Major imported commodities included motor spirit ordinary, gas oil, durum wheat, cane sugar meant for sugar refinery, and other liquefied petroleum gases.

China was Nigeria’s top trading partner on the import side, contributing 23.18% to the total imports. The imports from China primarily include machinery, transport equipment, and various manufactured goods, reflecting the strong industrial and technological ties between the two countries. India accounted for 8.46% of Nigeria’s total imports.

The trade with India involves the import of pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and industrial machinery, showcasing a diversified trade portfolio. The United States contributed 7.98% to Nigeria’s total imports. Major imports from the U.S. include machinery, transport equipment, and agricultural products, reflecting a broad spectrum of trade activities. Belgium was responsible for 7.56% of Nigeria’s total imports.

The country’s exports to Nigeria are dominated by machinery, chemical products, and various manufactured goods. With a 4.68% share of total imports, the Netherlands is a significant trading partner for Nigeria. The imports primarily consist of chemical products, machinery, and transport equipment.

Agricultural Trade

Agricultural exports saw substantial growth, totaling N1.04 trillion, up by 123.08% from N463.97 billion in Q4 2023 and by 270.13% from N279.64 billion in Q1 2023. Agricultural imports were valued at N920.54 billion, reflecting a 29.45% increase from N711.14 billion in Q4 2023 and a 95.28% rise from N471.39 billion in Q1 2023.

Trade by Mode of Transport

Maritime transport was the primary mode of transport for Nigeria’s trade activities. For exports, maritime transport accounted for N19.02 trillion, representing 99.25% of total exports. This highlights the importance of Nigeria’s ports and shipping infrastructure in facilitating the bulk of the country’s international trade.

On the import side, maritime transport was used for goods valued at N11.91 trillion, making up 94.17% of total imports. The reliance on marine transport is indicative of the volume and bulk of goods traded, which typically include heavy and large consignments like crude oil, machinery, and industrial equipment.

Air transport played a minor role in Nigeria’s trade, accounting for N55.32 billion or 0.29% of total exports. For imports, air transport was used for goods valued at N707.56 billion, representing 5.60% of total imports. The use of air transport is typically reserved for high-value, low-bulk goods such as electronics, pharmaceuticals, and perishable items that require quick delivery.

Road transport accounted for N30.20 billion or 0.16% of total exports and N30.11 billion or 0.24% of total imports. While the volume is relatively small compared to maritime and air transport, road transport is crucial for regional trade within the ECOWAS subregion and neighboring countries, facilitating the movement of goods across land borders.

Other modes of transport, including rail and inland waterways, accounted for N58.65 billion or 0.31% of total exports. This category is indicative of Nigeria’s ongoing efforts to diversify its transport infrastructure to enhance trade efficiency.

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