• Wednesday, July 24, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Maersk Line sees 8% import growth in 2014 on back of new auto policy, others

businessday-icon

As Nigeria perfect plans to begin the full implementation of 70 percent tariff on imported vehicles on July 1, 2014, Maersk Line, the world leading conglomerate from Denmark, has predicted that Nigeria’s containerised import market is expected to enjoy positive growth of about eight percent this year.

In its first quarter trade report that was sent to BusinessDay, the company attributed the projected growth to the opportunities inherent in the shipment of finished auto parts to service the demand of the assembly plants that are expected to take off in the country to drive the local production.

“The enactment of new import policies will see increased containerisation of vehicles in knocked down condition shipped to new assembly plants in the country. All of these indications suggest positive volume growth in containerised imports in 2014,” says Jan Thorhauge, managing director of Maersk Nigeria Limited, who is also the head of the company’s Central West Africa Cluster.

According to the report, the containerised import market witnessed a slight growth in 2013 despite the challenges facing the Nigerian economy. “Container import was strong, and is estimated to have ended at approximately 422,000 forty foot equivalent units (FFE) compared with 2012, where volume shipped was approximately 383,000 FFE”, said the report.

This, the report said, represents a year on year growth of about 10 percent, showing healthy increase in Nigerian imports when compared to 2012, which only witnessed 4 percent growth in volume.

Findings have shown that commodities such as electronics, building materials, chemicals, used cars and industrial supplies particularly raw materials are the dominant import commodities in Nigeria.

Maersk Line report further identified a trend in Nigeria’s import commodities, which the report said have remained the same for the past years, and China has continued to be Nigeria’s largest import trading partner, with the United States of America, Netherlands, India, Germany and Turkey following.

“The containerised market in Nigeria has continued to be strongly dominated by imports, and for the last six years, the import and export ratio has remained at around 92 percent import versus 8 percent export”, the Maersk Line boss explained.

Continuing, he noted that tiles and ceramics which were mainly imported from China have seen significant growth owing to the increase in construction across the country. “The import of building material is expected to continue to be buoyant in 2014, along with electronics another segment which will see good growth due to the increasing middle class in Nigeria”.

“Pre-election spending is also expected to generate volume if we go by previous trends. To this effect, items such as paper, stationery, printing material as well as electronic display units would likely see a sharp increase in import volume”, he added.

AMAKA ANAGOR