Foreign trade declines by N2.6tn over FX shortage – NBS


The total value of foreign trade has declined by N2.55tn as Nigeria recorded lower exports within a year, according to findings

The new Foreign Trade Statistics Report by the National Bureau of Statistics showed that the total value of trade decreased from N14.6tn in the first quarter of 2022 to N12.05tn in  Q1 2023

According to the report, Nigeria recorded N5.56tn import and N6.49tn export, showing a trade surplus N930bn in Q1 2023.

On the value of import, the report read, “The value of total imports stood at N5.56tn in the first quarter of 2023, this represents a 3.67 per cent rise when compared with the value recorded in Q4, 2022 (N5.36tn) but declined by 25.83 per cent compared to the value recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2022 (N7.5tn).”

According to the report, there was a decrease in the value of imports and exports.

The value of exports decreased by 8.66 per cent from N7.1tn in Q1 2022 to N6.49tn in Q1 2023.

The report read, “The value of total exports in Q1, 2023 stood at N6.49tn indicating an increase of 2.00 per cent when compared with the value of exports in Q4, 2022 (N6.36tn) but decreased by 8.66 per cent when compared with the first quarter of 2022 (N7.10tn).”

It was also disclosed that there was a decline in the exports of manufactured goods, crude oil, oil products, energy goods, and raw materials goods in Q1 2023.

Only the export of agricultural goods and solid minerals recorded an increase of 38.72 per cent and 32.17 per cent, respectively.

The report read, “The value of agricultural goods exports stood at N279.64bn in Q1, 2023, this shows an increase of 63.92 per cent and 38.72 per cent compared to the value recorded in Q4, 2022 (N170.59bn) and Q1, 2022 (N201.59bn) respectively.”

It added, “The value of solid minerals exports in Q1, 2023 was valued at N26.02bn indicating an increase of 23.73 per cent and 32.17 per cent compared to the value recorded in Q4, 2022 (N21.03bn) and in the corresponding quarter in 2022 (N19.69bn).”

Forex scarcity blamed

Speaking with The PUNCH, the Deputy-President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Gabriel Idahosa, cited the numerous challenges faced by local manufacturers ranging from lack of access to foreign exchange, scarcity of local raw materials to rising energy costs as factors that have significantly restrained the manufacturing sector from reaching its full potential.

Idahosa said, “There are essential driving forces that are affecting the performance of the manufacturing sector. A lot of our manufacturing is dependent on importing of raw materials. Many of them don’t just have the general issue of access to forex. A lot of them are on the 41 blacklisted items which cannot access CBN channels at all, so they depend 100 per cent on the parallel market, and as you know, the parallel market price for foreign exchange is getting worse.

The Director-General of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture, Olusola Obadimu echoed similar sentiments. According to him, despite the challenged state of the manufacturing sector, the data by the statistics body appears somewhat inaccurate due to the volume of unofficial exports that fail to get documented.

In the same vein, the CEO of the Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise, Dr Muda Yusuf, noted that export of manufactured goods to foreign countries has remained historically low due to the avalanche of issues besetting the manufacturing sector.

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