.records N9.97trn trade surplus
The total value of Nigerias external merchandise trade at the end of last year stood at N24.4trn, representing N3.17trn or 14.9 per cent greater than the value recorded in the preceding year.
The Report of the countrys 4th Quarter Merchandise Trade published yesterday by the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, indicated that the substantial increase in value of trade was due to a sharp rise in exports value, which grew from N14.25trn in 2013 to N17.20trn at the end of last year.
According to the Bureau, the exports value grew by 20.8 per cent during the comparative years under review as against a slight increase in imports value of N215.6bn, which amounted to only a 3.0 per cent rise and also contributed to the very favourable trade balance which peaked at N9.97trn
An analysis of the trade figures based on exports products showed that indicated that the value of the export trade totalled N3.9trn in Q4, 2014, showing a decrease of N843.4bn or 18 per cent, over the value recorded in the preceding quarter.
The NBS clarified further that on annual basis, despite the impressive growth in exports value for the year, the structure of Nigerias export was still dominated by crude oil, which amounted to N12.79trn or 74.4 per cent of the 2014 domestic export trade estimated figures.
The agency also reported that exports by section revealed that the highest export product for the country in 2014 was Mineral products, which accounted for N15.72trn or 91.4 per cent, adding that other products contributions to the exports include vehicles, aircraft and parts thereof; vessels etc. and Products of the chemical and allied industries, whose values stood at N357.7bn or 2.1 per cent, and N315.6bn or 1.8 per cent respectively for the year.
The NBS stated that on exports by continent flows, Nigeria mainly exported goods to Europe and Asia, which accounted for N7.44trn or 43.2 per cent and N4,98trn or 28.9 per cent respectively, of the total export value for the year under review.
In addition, the value of exported goods stood at N2.04trn or 11.8 per cent to the African continent compared with ECOWAS sub- regional exports value which totalled N842.8bn.
When classified by Standard International Trade Classification and country of origin, Nigerias import trade stood at N1.89trn at the end of Q4, 2014, representing 3.7 per cent more than the value of N1,82trn recorded in the preceding quarter.
A further comparison with the corresponding quarter of last year showed an increase of N202bn or 12 per cent.
According to NBS, the structure of Nigerias import trade according to SITC was dominated by the imports of Machinery and transport equipment, Food & live animals, and Manufactured goods, which accounted for 35.4 per cent, 15.5 per cent, and 15.1 per cent respectively in 2014, all of which contributed the most to the rise in the value of import trade in the year. Commodities like Crude inedible materials, Oils, fats & waxes, and Beverages & tobacco contributed the least, accounting for 1.3 per cent, 1.2 per cent, and 0.7 per cent respectively.
NBS clarified: Analysis of import trade by section was dominated by the imports of Boilers, machinery and appliances, which accounted for N1,706.4bn or 26 per cent of the total value of import trade in 2014.
Other commodities which contributed noticeably to the value of import trade in 2014 were Mineral products at N1,107.2bn or 15.3 per cent, Vehicles, aircraft and parts thereof; vessels etc. at ?876.5bn or 12.1 per cent, Base metals and articles of base metals at N673.3bn or 9.3 per cent, and Products of the chemical and allied industries at N583.5bn or 8.1 per cent of the total import value.
At the end of 2014, the import trade classified by Broad economic category, revealed that Industrial supplies not elsewhere classified ranked first with ?1,984.5bn or 27.4 per cent. This was followed by Capital goods and parts with the value of ?1,655.5bn or 22.9 per cent, and Food and Beverage with ?1,205bn or 16.7 per cent, the Bureau added.
On the countrys import trade by Economic region, the trend revealed that the country consumed goods largely from Asia with import value of about N3.15trn or 43.5 per cent compared with imported goods valued of N2.44trn or 33.7 per cent from Europe, and about N1.04trn or 14.4 per cent from America.
According to the Bureau, the import trade within the continent of Africa totalled N522bn or 7.2 per cent, while imports from ECOWAS region amounted to N46.1bn.