The National Bureau of Statistics on Monday released the merchandise trade statistics report for the first quarter of 2013 with a claim that the country recorded a N2.08tn drop in total trade from N7.185tn in the last quarter of 2012 to N5.098tn in the period under review.
In the report, which was signed by the Statistician-General of the Federation, Dr. Yemi Kale, the bureau stated that the N2.08tn represented a 29 per cent drop over the figure recorded in the fourth quarter of 2012.
The NBS noted in the report that declining exports and rising imports led to the country’s weak trade imbalance.
For instance, it said while the value of exports dropped by 41.4 per cent from N5.892tn in the fourth quarter of 2012 to N3.452tn in the first quarter of this year, a marginal increase of 27.4 per cent from N1.292tn in the fourth quarter 2012 to N1.646tn in the first quarter 2013 was recorded for imports.
It said, “Nigeria’s external merchandise trade totalled N5.098tn in the first quarter of 2013, a decrease of N2.086tn or 29 per cent from the N7.185tn recorded in the previous quarter. The decrease emanated mainly from the fall in the value of exports from N5.892tn in the fourth quarter of 2012 to N3.452tn in the first quarter of 2013, a 41.4 per cent decline.
“Furthermore, a 27.4 per cent increase in imports from N1.292tn in the fourth quarter of 2012 to N1.646tn in the first quarter of 2013, in combination with a decrease in exports, created a decline in the trade balance by N2.794tn or 60.8 per cent during the period.”
Year-on-year, the report stated that the value of the nation’s total merchandise trade decreased by N1.523tn or 23.0 per cent as a result of decreasing imports and exports.
“A drop in exports compared to imports also led to a decline in the trade balance by 45.6 per cent during this period as well,” it said.