Nigeria’s total external merchandise trade further decreased to N5.74 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2014 compared to N6.29 trillion in the previous quarter, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Nevertheless, the country’s overall external trade stood at N24.43 trillion at the end of 2014, representing a N3.17 trillion or 14.9 per cent increase compared to the value recorded in 2013.
According to the foreign trade statistics for the fourth quarter of 2014 released by the statistical agency, there was a 20.8 per cent sharp rise in the value of exports from N14.24 trillion in 2013 to N17.20 trillion in 2014.
The report stated that a slight increase of N215.6 billion, amounting to a mere three per cent rise in imports, helped create a “very favourable trade balance” of N9.97 trillion in 2014.
The crude oil component of total trade increased by N982.3 billion or 8.3 per cent in 2014 over the value recorded in 2013.
According to the NBS, in the overall, last year witnessed strong merchandise trade growth with exports outperforming imports which led to a visible trade surplus.
Meanwhile, the total value of the export trade stood at N3.85 in the fourth quarter of 2014, representing a decrease of N843.4 billion or 18 per cent compared to N4.4 trillion in the third quarter of 2014.
On an annual basis, total exports stood at N17.20 trillion at the end of 2014, representing a rise of N2.95 trillion or 20.8 per cent over the value in 2013.
The NBS further noted that structure of Nigeria’s export is still dominated by crude oil exports which accounted for N12.79 trillion or 74.4 per cent of total domestic export trade in 2014.
On the other hand, Nigeria’s import trade stood at N1.88 trillion in the fourth, an increase of 3.7 per cent when compared to N1.82 trillion recorded in the preceding quarter as well as an increase of N202 billion or 12 per cent when compared to the corresponding quarter of last year.
However, the in the previous quarter, India retained its position as Nigeria’s major export partner in the fourth quarter, accounting for N652.48 billion of export value while Spain also retained its second position with N440.12 billion total export value. South Africa occupied the third position with N326.20 billion ahead of the Netherlands which accounted for N301.27 billion of Nigerian exports.
The United Kingdom is fifth with exports worth N236.26 billion while the United States, which used to be Nigeria’s age long major trade partner currently occupy the eighth position with N160.32 billion.
In terms of imports, China and South Korea are Nigeria’s favourite destinations with N393.52 billion and N161.01 billion respectively. The US is third with N160.84 billion while imports from India amounted to N122.74 billion.
Meanwhile, it also emerged that the Nigerian economy added a total of 369,485 new jobs in the fourth quarter of last year. According to the Job Creation and Employment Survey for fourth quarter, which was also released by the NBS, 138,026 of the new employment were created in the formal sector while the informal sector recorded 227,072 jobs. An additional 4,387 jobs were created in the public institutions.