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Nigeria recorded N1.4trn trade deficit in Q4 2023, says NBS

Higher oil prices fail to plug trade deficit as in 2019

Nigeria recorded a N1.4 trillion trade deficit between October and December last year, data compiled from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.

The NBS made this known in its foreign trade report for the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2023 on Friday.

Between October to December 2023, Africa’s largest economy exports totalled N12.69 trillion, and total imports stood at N14.11 trillion, indicating a trade deficit of N1.41 trillion.

A trade deficit occurs when a country’s imports exceed its exports during a given period. In simpler terms, it means a country is buying more goods and services from other countries than it is selling to them.

This can lead to concerns about the balance of trade, domestic production, and the strength of a country’s currency.

“In the fourth quarter of 2023, Nigeria’s total trade stood at N26,801.95 billion. Exports were valued at N12,693.62 billion, while imports amounted to N14,108.33 billion,” NBS said.

The bureau reported that on an annual basis, Nigeria’s total trade was N71,880.01 billion, of which imports amounted to N35,917.62 billion, and exports were recorded at N35,962.39 billion.

When compared to Q3 2023, exports rose by 22.68 percent quarter-on-quarter, from N10.35 trillion to N12.69 trillion in Q4 2023. While on a year-on-year basis, there was a 99.60 percent increase in export value compared to N6.36 trillion in Q4 2022.

In the same vein, total imports rose by 56.04 percent quarter-on-quarter, compared to Q3 2023 (N9.04 trillion) and surged by 163.08 percent year-on-year (YoY) compared to Q4 2022 (N5.36 trillion).

Meanwhile, Nigeria had a trade surplus of N1.31 trillion in Q3 2023, meaning that the value of the country’s exports (N10.35 trillion) was higher than imports (N9.04 trillion).
However, by Q4 2023, the trajectory changed with Nigeria’s trade recording a deficit, as the value of imports outweighs exports.

Nigeria’s statistics bureau said that the country’s exports witnessed a boom in the fourth quarter of last year with the Netherlands, India, and Spain emerging as the top destinations.

These three countries, along with Canada and France, accounted for nearly half (45.29 percent) of Nigeria’s total exports in Q4 2023.

“Further analysis on fourth-quarter trade by partners shows that the top five export destinations in Q4, 2023 were the Netherlands with N1,910.47 billion or 15.05%, India with N1,101.47 billion or 8.68%, Spain with N1,030.09 billion or 8.11%, Canada with N907.64 billion or 7.15%, and France with N799.77 billion or 6.30% of total exports,” NBS said.