Isaac Anumihe, Abuja
As the ravaging COVID-19 intensifies, Nigeria recorded a trade deficit of N138.98 billion in the Q1 of 2020, making two consecutive quarters of negative balance of trade, with value of imports surpassing exports. This was contained in the report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in its website, yesterday.
The bureau noted that the consecutive quarters of negative trade balances (and lower imports and exports) occurred against the backdrop of a global slowdown in economic activity as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The global health crisis, it said, resulted in several countries implementing varying degrees of restrictions with respect to international trade, travel and tourism. When compared with the preceding quarter, the deficit in Q1 2020 represented an improvement by 76 per cent. On a year-on-year basis however, the deficit was lower by 116.71 per cent.
On imports, the agency reported that the value of energy goods decreased by 72.18 per cent in Q1, 2020 on a quarter on quarter basis, and 91.58 per cent year on year.
“The value of manufactured goods imports decreased by 31.98 per cent in Q1,2020 compared to Q4 2019, and 4.03 per cent when compared with Q1,2019.
The value of total imports decreased by 21.08 per cent in Q1, 2020 compared to the value recorded in Q4,2019 but was 13.99 per cent higher when compared with Q1, 2019. “The value of other oil products imports was 14.21 per cent higher in Q1, 2020 than in Q4, 2019 and 180.05 per cent higher when compared with the corresponding quarter of 2019. The value of imported agricultural goods was 12.02 per cent more in Q1 2020 than in Q4, 2019 and
10.62 per cent more than Q1, 2019.
The value of raw material imports decreased by 8.49 per cent in Q1, 2020 relative to Q4 2019, and 6.91 per cent compared to the corresponding quarter in 2019.