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Nigeria records trade deficit of N1.87trn in Q2 as India tops export destination


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The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has revealed that Nigeria recorded a trade deficit of N1.87 trillion in the second quarter (Q2) of 2021.

The value of Nigeria’s imports was N6.95 trillion and the exports came behind at N5.08 trillion. The value of exports meant that Nigeria sold less than it bought in the second quarter of 2021.

The value of total trade for the quarter in this review was N12.03 trillion and it was a 23.28 per cent increase from N9.76 trillion recorded in the first quarter (Q1) of 2021.


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When compared to the value at the same quarter last year, there was an 88.71 per cent increase, from a previous value of N6.37 trillion.


There was an increase in Nigeria’s imports in the second quarter of 2021. Compared to Q1 of 2021, imports rose by 1.45 per cent.

When compared with Q2 of 2020, imports rose by 67.49 per cent.

China was the top country from which Nigeria imported goods in Q2 of 2021, claiming 29.91 per cent of the total import portfolio.

Next on the list were India (8.20 per cent), Netherlands (8.02 per cent), the United States of America (7.58 per cent) and Russia (4.09 per cent).

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According to the NBS, machinery & transport equipment accounted for 35.91 per cent of total import trade.

Next were chemicals & related products (18.34 per cent), mineral fuel (15.98 per cent), food and live animals (13.69 per cent) and manufactured goods (9.2 per cent).


When compared to Q1 of 2021, exports rose by 74.72 per cent. However, they increased by 128.29 per cent on year-on-year basis.

With 18.7 per cent, India was Nigeria’s top export destination in Q2 2021, followed by Spain (10.3 per cent), Canada (7.0 per cent), Netherlands (5.9 per cent) and the United States of America (5.1 per cent).

According to the NBS, mineral products accounted for 91.29 per cent of total export trade, followed by vehicles, aircraft and parts and other vessels (2.79 per cent) and vegetable products (1.83 per cent).

Post-COVID 19 boost

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The last time Nigeria recorded an export value of N5.29 trillion was in the third quarter (Q3) of 2019. It soon dropped to N2.22 trillion in Q2 of 2020, marking the lowest point before it started to rise again.

Even though the value dropped once more in Q1 of 2021, Nigeria’s exports rose in Q2.

However, this growth is not enough to  provide adequate foreign exchange for the country amid  pandemic which affected the year 2020.

Chairman of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MANEG) Ede Dafinone advised the government to provide incentives to non-oil exporters in order to have adequate foreign exchange and boost local industries.

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