Total Nigeria merchandising trade stood at N9.12 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2020, representing an 8.9 percent increase relative to the preceding quarter and a 9.9 percent decrease relative to the corresponding quarter of 2019.1 For the fifth consecutive quarter, Nigeria recorded a negative balance of trade with the import component of trade accounting for 65 percent while export component of trade accounted for 35 percent. Crude oil accounted for 78.93 percent of Nigeria’s export while manufactured goods accounted for 64.56 percent of total imports. Nigeria’s major export trading partner is India (17.12 percent) while China (28.28 percent) accounted for most import to Nigeria. Improvements in foreign trade is expected to continue as economic activities in our major trading partner countries increase. However, diversifying the export base to include other goods such as agricultural commodities, textiles, and manufactured goods is pertinent. To achieve this, ensuring standardization of commodities and setting competitive freight charges will unlock the opportunities in external trade.
March 24, 2021
Nigeria Economic Update (Issue 11)
The Naira continued to depreciate in the review week. At the parallel market, naira exchanged for N498/$ on January 27, 2017 and N500/$ on February 3, 2017. Despite the weekly sales of forex to BDCs and the significant improvements in the external reserves, the naira has continued to lose value to other currencies. The pressure on the naira has been triggered by escalating scarcity of forex in the spot market, likely due to forex hoarding. However, in the preceding week, the CBN sold $660 million in forwards contract in an attempt to manage liquidity and stabilize the naira. In the face of growing speculation in the parallel market, the monetary authority should institute mechanisms that would discourage excessive forex hoarding among licensed BDC operators. An initiative that monitors transaction dealings in the parallel market would go a long way in detecting erring BDC operators.
Nigerian Naira depreciated by 1.2 percent at the parallel foreign exchange market between April 7, 2017 and April 14, 2017. The naira exchanged at N410/$ as against N405/$ the previous week. Despite the CBNs weekly dollar sales to BDCs ($20,000 to each BDC in the review week) and spot market sales of $100 million to SMEs, the nairas depreciated in the week. This may likely be attributable to speculative motives (on the basis that speculators likely anticipate that the CBN forex interventions may not be sustainable).
Recently released GDP figures reveals that the three major sectors recorded positive and negative growth rates individually in 2017Q2. Firstly, Agricultural sector grew Year on Year by 3.01 percent, down from 3.39 percent in 2017Q1- driven by weaker output in crop production and Fishing sub-sectors. This is not unconnected with the planting season and the shortage of grainsfor livestock/fish respectively.
Available data from Nigeria Bureau of Statistics shows a decline in the Nigeria Aviation sub-sector (Transport Sector) real growth rate in 2017Q1. Compared to the preceding quarter, the sub-sector declined significantly by 9.6 percent, due to decline in the number of passengers and movement of aircrafts this may be connected to the closure of the Abuja airport for infrastructural development during the period. To ensure a near-optimal performance of the aviation sector, the government should also make efforts to improve aviation safety and security, establish a national carrier, and improve aircraft maintenance to world class standards.