August 3, 2015
Volume 1 April 2013
Recently released Nigerias petroleum imports data, show a significant decline in the quantity and value of petroleum import products (PMS, AGO and NHK) between 2015 and 2016. Specifically, value of imports significantly declined year-on-year (January to April) by 30.4 percent to N571 billion in 2016. The huge decline in the import of (refined) petroleum products likely reflects the lower (unrefined) crude oil production/exports. Furthermore, it is likely that the import of petroleum products could decline in subsequent years; however, this is dependent on the prospects of the three domestic refineriesbeing refurbished.
OPEC basket price increased (Week-on-Week) by 1.6 percent to $49.45 per barrel on March 31, 2017- the first increase recorded in three weeks. Also, Bonny light rose by 4.7 percent to $51.92 per barrel. The rise in crude oil prices reflects demand-side expansion, consequent upon a myriad of factors: slower rise in USA crude reserves, huge supply disruptions in Libya, and the prospective extension of OPEC supply cut deals in member countries. The strengthening of crude oil price amid calm in the Niger Delta oil region, presents positive outlook for the Nigerian economy. However, given the adverse implications of sole dependence on crude oil revenue, the government should avoid returning to the norm and make efforts to intensify investments in other key sectors of the economy
The Naira sustained its appreciation trajectory at the parallel market in the review week. Precisely, naira gained 13.3 percent (Week-on-Week) to exchange at N390/$ on March 24, 2017. Reduced pressure on the naira followed moderation in speculative activities as a result of increased forex sales and intervention by the CBN (daily intervention of $1.5 million at the interbank market.) The aim of CBN interventions (narrowing the gap between interbank and parallel market rates) seems to be on course with the continued appreciation of the naira at alternative markets. While current approach of the apex bank proves effective in improving international value of naira in the short term, however, it is expedient that the bank articulates clear and credible flexible exchange rate policy to sustain the momentum and enhance confidence in the forex market in the medium term. Nonetheless, the sustainability of the exchange rate gains is partly dependent on the prospect of crude oil price and production which is outside the purview of the monetary authorities.