Nigeria recorded N7.37tn foreign trade deficit in 2020, latest figures from the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Monday, 8th of March 2021. The NBS disclosed in its ‘Foreign trade statistics report for fourth quarter of 2020’ that the total trade in 2020 stood at N32.42tn.

“The annual merchandise trade deficit in 2020 was recorded at N7.37tn,” the NBS stated. Part of the report read, “In the fourth quarter of 2020, Nigeria’s total merchandise trade stood at N9.12tn, representing 8.9 per cent over the level recorded in the third quarter of 2020 but was 9.9 per cent lower when compared to the fourth quarter of 2019.

“The value of trade in Q4 was the highest recorded over the past year. The export component of trade stood at N3.19tn, an increase of 6.7 per cent over the preceding quarter but a drop of 33 per cent over the previous year. Further, the share of exports in total trade declined to 35 per cent in Q4 2020 from 47 per cent a year earlier”.

“On the other hand, total imports reached a record high at N5.92tn in Q4 2020, an increase of 10.1 per cent over the preceding quarter, and 10.8 per cent over the preceding year. Imports also accounted for 65 per cent of total trade in Q4 2020, compared to 53 per cent the previous year.

As the value of imports nearly doubled the value of exports, the trade deficit rose to its highest level and a fifth consecutive quarterly deficit at N2.73tn, an increase of 14.30 per cent compared to the preceding quarter.”

The fourth quarter deficit recorded the highest figure since 2017. According to the NBS, Nigeria’s trade deficit rose by 32.45 per cent from N1.8tn as of the end of second quarter to N2.38tn in the third quarter. It added that on an annual basis, total trade was valued at N32.42tn in 2020, or 10.3 per cent less than the value recorded in 2019.

“The value of total imports in 2020 stood at N19.89tn, or 17.3 per cent higher than in 2019, while total export was valued at N12.52tn, or 34.8 per cent less than in 2019,” the NBS stated. It added that the annual merchandise trade deficit in 2020 was N7.37tn.

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