Nigeria Merchandise Trade Rose Significantly in Q3, 2018

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December 10, 2018/NBS

Key Highlight 


ü  Total imports of N 4,172.3 in Q3,2018 was 73.8 % higher than Q2,2018 due to importation of submersible drilling platforms in August which was quite expensive and of course occasional importation. In the same way, there was a rise of 67.7% when compared with the import value of the corresponding quarter in 2017.

ü  Value of imported Agriculture products in Q3,2018 was 0.1% lower than the value recorded in Q2 and 3.10% lower than Q3, 2017

ü  Value of Raw material imports was 11.67% more than Q2, 2018 and 2.19% higher than the value in Q3, 2017

ü  Solid minerals imports in Q3, 2018 increased by 0.83% compared to Q2, 2018 and 20.2%% more than Q3, 2017

ü  Energy goods import in Q3, 2018 was 90.4% lower than Q2, 2018 and compared to Q3, 2017, a decrease of 28.55% was recorded.

ü  Manufactured goods import value was 122.97% in Q3, 2018 more than in Q2, and 116.08% higher than the level recorded in Q3, 2017.

ü  Other oil products, import value was 41.03% more than Q2, 2018 and 36.9% more than Q3, 2017 


Total exports value stood at N4,853.6 billion in Q3, 2018 representing an increase of 7.8% over Q2, 2018 and 35.7% increase over Q3, 2017

ü  Agriculture goods export value in Q3, 2018 was 47.2% lower than Q2, 2018 and 57.18 % higher than Q3, 2017

ü  Raw material exports value increase by 1.63% in Q3, 2018 against the level in Q2, and 21.7% against Q3, 2017.

ü  Solid minerals exports value in Q3, 2018 decreased by 51.9% compared to Q2, 2018 and 37.1% against Q3, 2017.

ü  Energy goods, exports value in Q3, 2018 was 6.04% lower than Q2 and 31.4% higher than Q3, 2017.

ü  Manufactured goods exports were 5.9% lower than Q2, 2018 but 52.2% higher than Q3, 2017.

ü  Crude oil exports in Q3, 2018 was 10.03% more than the value recorded in Q2, 2018 and 39.5% higher than the value recorded in Q3, 2017.

ü  Other oil products export in Q3, 2018 was 5.3% more in value than Q2, 2018 and 12.68% higher than Q3, 2017. 

Major Export Trading Partners and % share to Q3, 2018 Export Trade.

ü  India                           15.76%

ü  Spain                          10.76%

ü  France                        10.31%

ü  South Africa              6.91%

ü  Netherlands              5.69% 

Major Import Trading Partners and % Share to Q3, 2018 Import Trade

ü  Korea, South             29.11%

ü  China                          14.17%

ü  Netherlands              11.58%

ü  Belgium                     6.99%

ü  United States            5.37% 

Major Trade Agricultural Products.

ü  Cashew nuts, in shell

ü  Sesamum seeds, whether or not broken

ü  Superior quality raw cocoa beans

ü  Other frozen Shrimps and prawns

ü  Natural Cocoa butter

ü  Good fermented Nigerian Cocoa beans 


Nigeria’s external trade totaled N9,025.97 billion during the third quarter of 2018.Compared to the value of N6,903.7 billion recorded against the second quarter, a rise of N 2,122.28billion or 30.7% was indicated. The total export component of this trade was recorded N4,853.6 billion, representing increase of 7.8% over Q2, 2018 and 35.7% over Q3, 2017.The import component stood at N 4,172.3 in Q3,2018 showing 73.8 % higher than Q2,2018. This was due to importation of submersible drilling platforms in August which was quite expensive and of course occasional importation. In the same way, there was a rise of 67.7% when compared with the import value of the corresponding quarter in 2017.The huge increase in import value during the quarter, resulted into a decrease in the Country’s Trade balance from N2,103.4 billion in Q2 to N681.3billion in Q3 representing a decrease of 67.6%. The year to date Total Trade amounted to N23,140.8billion.

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Export in the Third quarter was still oil dependent, Crude oil exports was recorded N4,146.6billion in the third quarter and it remained the majority of total exports (85.4%).  The non-oil products accounted for 3.4% while other oil products accounted for 11.20% of total exports in the quarter under review.

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Imports Classified by Standard International Trade Classification and country of Origin

 Nigeria’s imports amounted to N4,172.3 billion in Q3, 2018 among which N1,940.2 billion imports were machinery and transport equipment (46.5% of total import) and N1,016.3 billion imports were mineral fuel while chemical and related products accounted for N388.3 billion or 9.3% of the total imports during the period under review. Other major contributors in this sector were food and live animals which accounted for N336.6billion and manufactured goods which amounted to N290.1billion during the period under review.

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In the quarter, most imported products originated from Asia, Europe and America which contributed N2,187.99 billion or 52.4%, N1,467.8 or 35.2% and N351.6billion or 8.4% of the total imports respectively.  Nigeria’s imports by country of origin shows that the Country imported goods worth N1,214.5 billion or 29.1% from South Korea. This was an occasional import. As usual Nigeria consumed goods mainly from China, Netherlands, Belgium, and United States which respectively accounted for N591.4 billion or 14.17%, N483.2billion or 11.58%, N291.7 billion or 6.99% and N224.2 billion or 5.37%.  China moved from its position as the top importing partner for Nigeria this time because of the submersible drilling platform imported from South Korea during the quarter which was quite expensive.  Import trade from African countries stood at N138.7 billion or 3.3% while imports from the region of ECOWAS amounted to N16.9 billion.

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Exports Classified by Standard International Trade Classification and Country of Destination

The structure of the export trade is still dominated by crude oil exports, which contributed N4,146.6 billion or 85.4% to the value of total exports in Q3, 2018.  Exports by section revealed that Nigeria exported mainly mineral products which accounted for N4,709.9 billion or 97.04% of the total value of exports.  This was followed by prepared food stuff, beverages, Spirits and Vinegar which accounted for N34.5 billion or 0.7% of the total export. In the third quarter, Nigeria exported most products to Europe, Asia and America which accounted for N2,033.99 billion or 41.9%, N1,361.4billion or 28.0% and 727.03 or 14.97% respectively.  Furthermore, Nigeria exported goods worth   N715.1 billion or 14.73% to Africa   and N16.04 billion or 0.33% to   Oceania.

However, within Africa, Nigeria exported goods valued at N341.1billion or 47.69 % to ECOWAS member states and this represents 47.69 % of the total export trade to Africa. Exports by country of destination showed that Nigeria exported goods mainly to India, Spain, France, South Africa and Netherlands; in values worth N764.9 billion or 15.76%, N522.1 billion or 10,76%, N500.31billion or 10.31%, N335.28 billion or 6.9% and N276.37 billion or 5.69% respectively.  These five countries accounted for 49.43% of the total exports in Q3, 2018.

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Export/Imports Products Classified by Sectors Q3, 2018 

Agricultural Goods Sector

The trade in agricultural goods in Q3, 2018 stood at N269.7 billion representing 2.99% of the total trade.  The Export component of this trade was valued at N45.4billion in Q3. Compared to N85.9billion recorded in the previous quarter, a decrease of 47.20% was indicated.  Further analysis by economic regions showed that exported Agricultural goods were mainly consumed by Asia and Europe in values worth N25.7 billion and N15.9billion respectively.  During the period under review Agricultural products were driven by cashew nuts in shell, Sesamum seeds, whether or not broken, Superior quality raw cocoa, and frozen shrimps exported in values worth N9.85billion, N9.02billion, N7.59 billion and N2.68 billion respectively. Cashew nuts were exported mainly to Vietnam and India in values worth N4.8billion and N4.7 billion respectively. Sesamum seeds were exported to Japan and China in values worth N2.9 billion and N1.6billion, while superior quality raw cocoa beans were consumed by Indonesia and Netherlands in values worth N2.9 billion and N2.8 billion.

In terms of imports, the total Agricultural products were valued at N224.3billion or 5.38% of total imports during the period under review.  The major driver was Durum wheat (not in seeds) imported mainly from Russia, Canada and Australia in values worth N28.1 billion, N18.0billion and N5.8billion.  Other drivers were Durum wheat in seed imported from Russia, Canada and United States in values worth N17.95 billion, N11.48 billion and N10.47billion.

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Solid Minerals Sector

The trade in solid minerals stood at N27.1`billion in Q3, 2018 representing 0.3% of total trade.  The export component of the solid mineral stood at N9.7billion while the import totaled N17.4 billion.  During the quarter, the exported solid mineral products declined by 51.9% against the level recorded in Q2, 2018 while the imported solid mineral increased in value by 0.83%. 

The major solid minerals exported during the quarter was other cements which were exported to Togo and Niger in values N3.1 billion and 2.86billion. Zinc ores and concentrates were exported to China in value worth N1.9 billion.  Analysis of solid mineral imports showed that Nigeria imported Plasters of calcined gypsum or calcium sulphate whether or not colored mainly from Turkey and Tunisia in values worth N2.22 billion and N0.86 billion respectively. 

Other Salt (including crude salt), were imported from Namibia and Brazil in values worth N2.0 billion and N1.7billion. 

Manufactured Goods Sector

Trade in manufactured goods stood at N2,687.6 billion in Q3, 2018.  The export component was valued at N65.8 billion while imported manufactured goods stood at N2,621.8 billion.  During the quarter, imported manufactured goods increased by 122.97% over the level recorded in Q2, 2018.  Similarly, the export of manufactured products was 116.1% higher than the level recorded in Q3, 2017. Under manufactured goods sector, Vessels and other floating structures for breaking up were exported to Cameroun, Congo and Hong Kong in values N9.0 billion, N2.9 billion and N1.3billion. During the quarter, Nigeria also exported Airplanes and other aircraft of an unladen weight but not exceed 15000kg to Ghana in the value worth N5.6billion. Aluminum alloys, unwrought worth N4.2billion was exported to Japan while Polyethylene having a specific gravity >=0.94, in primary forms worth N2.4 billion was exported to China. In terms of imports, Nigeria imported Floating or submersible drilling or production platforms worth N1,159.3billion from South Korea. Used Vehicles were imported mainly from United States and Brazil, in values worth N45.3 billion and N12.0 billion. Other instruments and apparatus, for medical, surgical sciences were imported from Netherlands in the value N36.7billion. Motorcycles and cycles were imported from India and China in values worth N29.2 billion and N11.97 billion respectively.

Raw Material Goods Sector

Total value of Trade in raw material in Q3, 2018 stood at N323.8billion or 3.6%. During the quarter the export component of raw material was valued at N32.2billion or 0.66% while import of raw material accounted for N291.6 billion or 6.99% of the total import trade.

Raw materials exported during the quarter includes Urea exported to Brazil and Benin Republic in values worth N10.4 billion and N0.5 billion. Leather further prepared after tanning were exported mainly to Spain and Italy in values N4.3billion and N3.9 billion. 

In terms of imports, Cane sugar, meant for sugar refinery were imported from Brazil in the value N45.7 billion. Milk preparations were imported mainly from Ireland, Malaysia and Australia in values N5.1billion, N2.9 billion and N1.98 billion. Mineral or chemical fertilizers were also imported in the value N11.3billion from Morocco. Nigeria also imported preparations for infant use in the value N6.1billion from China. Mixtures of odoriferous substances were imported from Ireland and Swaziland in values N5.4billion and N3.7billion respectively. 

Trade Intensity in Q3 2018 

Export Intensity Index with Five Major Trading Partners

During the quarter, Nigeria export trade with India, Spain, France, South Africa and Netherlands was intense in all the months except on September. India registered high export intensities of 3.53, 4.1 and 2.97 in July, August and September. Similarly, Spain registered 4.95, 2.74 and 2.86 in the months of Quarter 3, 2018. France, one of the major export markets of Nigeria recorded index of 2.35, 2.51 and 1.31 while South Africa recorded 8.24, 9.78 and 7.34 respectively. Netherlands equally recorded high export intensities of 1.86 and 1.56 except on September whose index was 0.23

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Import Intensity Index with five Major Trading Partners

During the quarter under review, Korea emerged as the first leading Country in terms of imports due to the submersible drilling machine imported from the country during the month of August which was quite expensive. Korea therefore, recorded very high import intensity index of 13.9 in August while it recorded low import intensity index in July and September due to the product mix imported from the country during those months. China which has been Nigeria’s major trading partner in terms of imports recorded very low import intensity index in all the months (July 0.9. August 0.6 and September 0.7). This low index can be attributed to the product mix imported during the months of the quarter under review. Netherlands registered high import intensities in all the months; July (3.2), August (1.5), September (2.0). Similarly, Belgium recorded high import intensities of 2.5, 1.7 and 2.7 while United States has always recorded low import intensities-In the months of the quarter under review, United states recorded 0.5, 0.3 and 0.4.

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Trade by Mode of Transport

In Q3, 2018, Nigeria’s major mode of transporting its goods to partner Countries was by water.  Transport of goods by water accounted for N 4824.1 billion or 99.4% of total export.  The goods exported through road accounted for N14.1 billion. The goods that passed through the Air accounted for N15.4 billion of total exports. 

In terms of importing goods into the Country, the Sea remained the major mode of transportation as it contributed N3959.7billion or 94.9% of total imports.  During the Quarter, other modes of transport were used to convey goods into the Country.  Road transport accounted for N13.7 billion and Air transport accounted for N198.9 billion. 

Trade by Custom Ports and Post

The leading port of operation during the quarter was Apapa port which accounted for N 4,737.2 billion or 97.6 % of total export transaction. The next leading port of operation during the quarter was Tin can through which goods worth N43.3 billion were shipped to partner countries. Goods worth N31.2billion exited the country through Port Harcourt (3). 

In terms of imports, Apapa Port still remain the leading Port of operation with transaction valued at N2,844.4 billion or 68,2%.  The next leading port was Tin Can Island which accounted for N563.8billion or 13.5%.  Other active ports of operation were Portharcourt (3) with transaction worth N195.8 billion or 4.7%.

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