The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Monday reported that Nigeria’s total merchandise remained strong in 2012 as total exports outperformed imports leading to an obvious trade surplus.
NBS said that at the end of 2012, Nigeria’s external trade stood at N28.0712 trillion, signifying a 4.3 percent decrease in the corresponding figure of N29.333 trillion recorded in 2011.
This, it said, was pushed by a sharp decrease in the value of imports from N9.8926 trillion in 2011 to N5. 6249 trillion in 2012 – a decrease of 43.1 percent. However, there was an increase of 15.5 percent in the value of exports from N19.4404 trillion in 2011 to N 22.4463 trillion in 2012.
It reported that the increase in the value of exports contributed immensely to the visible trade balance of N16. 8214 trillion recorded in 2012, a contrast to the visible trade balance of N9. 5477 trillion recorded in 2011. The crude oil component of total trade increased by N1.596 trillion or 11 percent over the level recorded in 2011.
Meanwhile, NBS data on Nigeria’s 2012 exports to various continents of the world showed that European countries were the highest consumer of Nigeria’s export with N8. 2271 trillion or 36.7 percent. This was followed closely by America with N7. 196.1 trillion or 32.1 percent and Asia with N4. 3474 trillion or 19.4 percent. Within the continent of Africa, Nigeria exported products valued at N2. 11868 trillion or 9.4 percent of its total exports trade. However, Nigeria exported products valued at N869.6 billion to the region of ECOWAS out of its total export trade to Africa.
The Bureau further noted that when ranked by standard international trade classification and country of origin, total imports of Nigeria was valued at N1.2928 trillion in quarter four, 2012 indicating a rise of N21.6 billion or 1.7 percent when compared with the value of the third quarter of the same year. The value of imports totaled N5. 6249 trillion at the end of 2012 as against N9. 8926 trillion in 2011, a decrease of N4. 2678 trillion or 43.1 percent. The structure of import trade according to SITC was still dominated by the imports of machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods and commodities which accounted for 23.5 percent,12.4 percent and 34.0 percent, respectively. However, commodities which contributed noticeably to the fall in the value of import trade in 2012 were beverages & tobacco, crude inedible materials, mineral fuel and oils, fats & waxes with N79.0 billion or 1.4 percent, N61.7 billion or 1.1 percent, N49.4 billion or 0.9 percent, N10.9 billion or 0.2 percent, respectively.
ONYINYE NWACHUKWU, Abuja