According to the latest figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Monday, March 8, Nigeria recorded N7.37tn foreign trade deficit in 2020.
The NBS in its ‘Foreign trade statistics report for the fourth quarter of 2020’ disclosed that the total trade in 2020 stood at N32.42tn.
The report read in part: “The annual merchandise trade deficit in 2020 was recorded at N7.37tn. In the fourth quarter of 2020, Nigeria’s total merchandise trade stood at N9.12tn, representing 8.9 percent over the level recorded in the third quarter of 2020 but was 9.9 percent lower when compared to the fourth quarter of 2019.
“The value of trade in Q4 was the highest recorded over the past year. The export component of trade stood at N3.19tn, an increase of 6.7 percent over the preceding quarter but a drop of 33 percent over the previous year.
“Further, the share of exports in total trade declined to 35 percent in Q4 2020 from 47 percent a year earlier. On the other hand, total imports reached a record high at N5.92tn in Q4 2020, an increase of 10.1 percent over the preceding quarter, and 10.8 percent over the preceding year.
“Imports also accounted for 65 percent of total trade in Q4 2020, compared to 53 per cent the previous year. As the value of imports nearly doubled the value of exports, the trade deficit rose to its highest level and a fifth consecutive quarterly deficit at N2.73tn, an increase of 14.30 percent compared to the preceding quarter.”
The NBS also noted that the fourth quarter deficit recorded the highest figure since 2017. Nigeria’s trade deficit rose by 32.45 percent from N1.8tn as of the end of second quarter to N2.38tn in the third quarter.
It added that on an annual basis, total trade was valued at N32.42tn in 2020, or 10.3 percent less than the value recorded in 2019.
According to it, “The value of total imports in 2020 stood at N19.89tn, or 17.3 percent higher than in 2019, while total export was valued at N12.52tn, or 34.8 percent less than in 2019.” The Bureau of Statistics added that the annual merchandise trade deficit in 2020 was N7.37tn.