By Olusola Adeoye
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said the country recorded a total trade value of N8.2 billion for the first quarter of 2019, representing a growth of 2.50 per cent when compared to the previous quarter, (fourth quarter, 2018).
The NBS said this in its Foreign Trade in Goods Statistics for First Quarter of 2019 posted on its website today.
The bureau said the volume of total merchandise trade in the first quarter of the year grew marginally by 7.52 per cent when compared to the corresponding quarter in 2018.”
Value of total imports rises
It said the value of total imports in the first quarter of 2019 rose by 3.39 per cent compared the 25.84 per cent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2018.
“Imported Agricultural products were 7.98 per cent higher in value than in Q4 2018, and 28.1 per cent higher than in Q1, 2018.
“The value of Raw material imports grew 6.62 per cent more than the value recorded in Q4, 2018 and 20.76 per cent more than the value recorded in Q1 2018.
“The value of Solid minerals imports was 1.26 per cent more than the value of imports in Q4, 2018 and 35.90 per cent higher than the value recorded in Q1 2018.
“The value of Energy goods imports was 20.28percent lower than in Q4, 2018 when compared with the corresponding quarter of 2018, a decrease of 0.94 per cent was recorded.
“The value of imported Manufactured goods increased by 25.81 per cent in Q1, 2019 against the value recorded in Q4, 2018 and rose by 130.7 per cent against its value in Q1, 2018” the report highlighted.
The increase in the value of imported manufactured goods, according to the report was partly as a result of the importation of hygienic/pharmaceutical product for humanitarian purposes during the quarter.
Also, the value of other oil products imported was 58.4 per cent lower than in Q4, 2018 and 72.71 per cent lower than the corresponding quarter of 2018.
According to the report, the value of total exports in the first quarter of the year increased by 1.78 per cent as against the level recorded in the fourth quarter of 2018.
However, the value of total exports recorded in the first quarter of 2019 decreased by 3.90 per cent when compared to the value it recorded in the first quarter of 2018.
“In Q1 2019 the value of agricultural exports was 11.89 per cent lower than in Q4, 2018 but 17.5 per cent higher than Q1 2018.
“The value of raw material exports in Q1, 2019 was 10.67 per cent lower than the value in Q4, 2018 but 11.57 per cent higher than in Q1, 2018.
Major traded agricultural products traded in the quarter under review are Seamus seeds (whether or not broken), good fermented Nigerian cocoa beans, superior quality raw cocoa beans, cashew nuts (in shell), frozen shrimps and prawns, quality raw cocoa beans.
India, Spain, Netherlands, South Africa, and France were the country’s major export trading partners in the quarter under review while China, Swaziland, US, India and Netherlands were the major import trading partners.