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Nigeria’s agricultural trade records N548bn deficit in 2018

Agricultural trade

The trade in agricultural goods by Nigeria in 2018 had a deficit of N548 billion, with the country importing far more agricultural goods than it exported. Out of N1.15 trillion in agricultural goods traded between Nigeria and other countries, imports accounted for 73.82 per cent, while exports accounted for 26.18 per cent.

For full year 2018, data so far made available by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in its quarterly Foreign Trade Statistics, showed imported agricultural goods accounted for N852.11 billion, a 4 per cent decrease from N886.7 billion in 2017. The 2017 figure was however an increase of 35.09 per cent when compared to N656.4 billion in 2016. On the other hand, Nigeria exported a total of N302.24 billion worth of agricultural goods in 2018.

For 2018, Agricultural goods export in the first quarter of 2018 was N73.25 billion, representing 1.56 per cent of total exports. However, agricultural goods import cost N184.49 billion, and represented 7.33 per cent of total imports. In total, agricultural goods accounted for N257.74 billion and 3.57 per cent of total trade in the first quarter of 2018.

The main driver of Nigeria’s agricultural goods import in the first quarter of 2018 was wheat, just as recorded in the other quarters of the year.


The total trade of agricultural goods in Q2, 2018 stood at N310.4 billion (4.72 per cent of total trade), in which exports and imports recorded N85.9 billion (1.92 per cent of total exports) and N224.5 billion (10.66 per cent of total imports) respectively. Apart from wheat, which as usual accounted for the bulk of importation, other imported agricultural products include Blue Whitings from Netherlands (N7.1 billion), Russia (N4.7 billion), and Faroe Islands (N3.4 billion); Mackerel were imported from Japan, Chile and the Netherlands which were valued at N3.8 billion, N1.9 billion, N1.8 billion respectively.

The major exported agricultural products in Q2, 2018 were Cashew nuts (N38.4 billion), Sesamum seeds (N19.4 billion), Raw Cocoa beans (N6.8 billion), Fermented cocoa beans (N4.6 billion), Frozen Shrimps and Prawns (N3.1 billion). Specifically, N26.6 billion worth of cashew nuts were exported to Vietnam, N10.01 billion to India, N665.1 million to UAE. The second primary exported agricultural product in Q2 2018 was Sesamum seeds. This product was exported mainly to Turkey (N4.7 billion), Japan (N4.1 billion) and China (N3.3 billion).

Other major agricultural products include superior quality raw cocoa beans which were exported to Malaysia (N472.9 million) and Netherlands (N3.1 billion) and Frozen shrimp and prawns which were mainly exported to The Netherlands (N1.9 billion) and USA (N511.4 million).

The trade in agricultural goods in the third quarter of 2018 stood at N269.7 billion representing 2.99 per cent of the total trade. The Export component of this trade was valued at N45.4billion, a decrease of 47.2 per cent compared to N85.9billion recorded in the previous quarter. In terms of imports, the total Agricultural products were valued at N224.3billion or 5.38% of total imports during the quarter. The major driver, as usual was wheat imported mainly from Russia, Canada and Australia and United States.

The trade in agricultural goods in Q4, 2018 was valued at N316.5billion representing 3.7 per cent of the total trade. The Export component of this trade was valued at N97.7billion, an increase of 115.10 per cent compared to N45.4billion recorded in the preceding quarter. On the import transactions side, agricultural goods recorded N218.8billion or 6.11% of the total imports during the period.

In the fourth quarter, export of agricultural products was dominated by Sesamum seeds (whether or not broken), good fermented Nigerian cocoa beans, superior quality raw cocoa beans, and Cashew nuts (in shell) with values worth N33.9billion, N24.5billion, N9.6 billion and N5.8 billion respectively.

For imports, the most prominent were wheat related goods, with a cumulative sum of N102.7 billion. Crude palm oil imported from Malaysia, Colombia, and the United States was also noted by the NBS as significant in the last quarter of 2018.



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