Nigeria has recorded the first trade balance surplus in two years when it posted a trade balance in excess of N2.15 trillion in the first quarter of the year.
This was disclosed in a report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) titled, ‘Foreign Trade in Goods Q1 2018’.
The statistical agency report shows that the total value of Nigeria’s merchandise trade was N7.211 trillion in the first quarter of 2018, which was a 19.74 percent growth from the figure recorded in Q4, 2017 (N6.022 trillion), and a 35.07 percent growth from Q1, 2017 (N5,339.24 billion).
The strong growth of total trade in the reviewing quarter, according to the report, was mainly driven by the strong increase in export.
The report explained that trade balance in Q1, 2018 was a surplus of N2.175 trillion, which is a 20.95 percent increase from the figure in Q4, 2017 N1.798 trillion and a 221.08 percent increase from the figure of N677.42 billion recorded in Q1, 2017.
Total imports value during the period was N2. 518 trillion, which was 19.22 percent higher than Q4, 2017 figure of N2.112 trillion and 8.04 percent higher than Q1, 2017 figure of N2.330 trillion.
Total export value amounted to N 4.693 trillion in Q1, 2018, representing a significant growth of 20.02 percent over Q4, 2017 of N3.910 trillion and 56.01 percent over Q1, 2017 figure of N3.008 trillion.
The agency said the value of manufactured goods exports rose N576.90 percent year-on-year when compared to the N64.17 billion recorded in Q1 2017.
This is against a decline of raw material exports, which fell by 13.62 percent in the reporting period to N32.70 billion from N37.85 billion in Q4 2017.
However, raw material exports value for Q1 2018 increased 47.71 percent when compared to the N22.13 billion recorded in Q1 2017.
According to the agency, the value of Nigeria total exports grew 20 percent quarter-on-quarter and 56 percent year-on-year in the review period.
Details of the exports indicate that export value for agricultural products at N73.24 billion in Q1 2018 was 63.84 percent higher than the value in Q4 2017 (N44.70bn) and 24.01 percent higher than the value recorded in Q1 2017 (N59.06bn).
The value of crude oil exports, the main revenue earner for the country, grew by 10 percent quarter-on-quarter to N3.58 trillion from N3.251 trillion in Q4 2017, which was 50.74 percent higher than the N2.374 trillion in Q1 2017.
The report also indicated that solid minerals export value grew by 12.96 percent in the review period to N26.92 billion from N23.83 billion in Q4 2017 and 58.50 percent year-on-year from the N16.98 billion recorded in Q1 2017.
The value of energy goods export also grew by 8.8 percent to N10.39 billion from N9.55 billion in Q4 2017 and a 16.5 percent growth over the value of N8.92 billion in Q1 2017.