© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Nigeria stock market, oil prices drop as Coronavirus ravages China
NIGERIA is yet to record any case of the coronavirus, but the impact of the coronavirus is gradually being felt on the Nigerian economy. The outbreak and the spread of the novel virus has affected Nigerian stock market as well as the sales of crude oil at the international market with China being the world biggest buyers of crude oil.
Nigeria relies on revenue from the crude oil.
Stock market drops
On the African markets website, that reports African market performance, the Nigerian Stock exchange has recorded a continuous negative movement of the listed stock on the exchange as at Thursday 30, 2020.
Oil prices crash, production halted in China
Also, Organization of the Petrol Exporting Countries (OPEC) to which Nigeria is a major member has reported that it was considering holding an emergency meeting next month, as oil prices sink on concern the coronavirus outbreak will hit demand.
China is the world’s largest manufacturer and imports more crude oil than any other country in the world means if China doesn’t import crude oil because of the halt in business generally the impact would be glaring to us.
Oil prices recently fell to a three-month low, and U.S. benchmark crude is on track to suffer a loss of more than 12 percent in January as coronavirus intensifies the impact of seasonal weakness in the market, raising prospects for lower fuel prices.
All schools and factories in China especially in Wuhan where the outbreak started are currently shutdown; production of goods are currently has been on hold. This, experts believe would automatically affects output.
Now China, and the rest of the world, is preparing for more economic pain that seems likely to come with the epidemic.
Nigeria is the biggest ally of China in Africa─ the trade volume between Nigeria and China is above $70 billion as at 2019.
The drop in production in China due to coronavirus will soon hit Nigerian market hard. It is feared that the trade volume will drop between the period of the outbreak of the virus and when it is finally contained as countries around the world, including Nigeria are currently putting measures in place to quarantine and isolate travelers from China into the country.
While many containers coming from China into the Nigerian ports may stay long on the sea, non-availability of some products may also lead to increase in prices of existing products.
British Airways said on Wednesday that it would suspend all flights to and from China through January 31.
Many domestic airlines have suspended fights to China, this has automatically slowed down business.
Lawrence Anosike, Managing Director of Pivot Capital Limited in Lagos while speaking with The ICIR and said “oil prices have gone down by two percent as at Thursday, which has majorly to do with spread of a virus from China.”
He added, “Production of goods in China has dropped which has increased the purchase price of these goods in Nigeria.”
‘’We in Nigeria feel the impact more on our economy because we are the end users of the Chinese products.”
Will this affect railway construction?
Nigeria’s railway construction that being handled by the Chinese Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC) will likely to be affected. The pace of the work on the project will be affected as majority of the Chinese engineers working on the project have traveled home for the Chinese Lunar Year.
When they return to Nigeria, they will be isolated and quarantine to avoid contacts with their Nigerian counterparts who are working on the project.
According to the President of China Chambers of Commerce in Nigeria, Ye Shuijin, 160 Chinese firms operating in the country had employed over 200,000 Nigerians.
He added that no fewer than 30,000 Nigerians travel to different Chinese cities every year for business or tourism.
Some experts have said “This virus has a lot to do with us in Nigeria and our economy, we are partners with the Chinese in most of our business, we can’t afford to fold hands and look.”