Restriction imposed by the Federal Government and others to contain the COVID-19 pandemic may have negatively impacted on commercial activities, as Nigeria recorded a deficit of N1.8 trillion in the second quarter to suffer three successive quarterly negative trade balances.
According to latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) for the period under review, the value of merchandise trade stood at N6.24 trillion, indicating a sharp fall of 27.30 per cent compared to the N8.3 trillion tally of Q1 2020 and 27.46 per cent.
The nation’s total trade amounted to N14.82 trillion, indicating a drop of 11.96 per cent in juxtaposition to the half-year results of 2019.
Further review shows that the import component was N4.02 trillion, representing a decrease of 10.69 per cent, but an increase of 0.39 per cent year-on-year. On the other hand, the export section accounted for N2.21 trillion, showing a decline of 45.64 per cent.
“Consequently, the trade balance recorded a deficit of N1.8 trillion, marking the third consecutive quarter of negative trade balance,” the document noted.
This is in addition to the losses of N421.3 billion in Q1 and N579.06 billion for Q4 2019.Nigeria’s dominant export, crude oil, fetched N2.94 trillion, 72.12 per cent of the total, in the first quarter of the year.
The value was 18.86 per cent inferior to the tally of Q4, 2019 and 12.80 per cent lower than the worth of the corresponding quarter of last year.Non-crude oil exports were N1.13 trillion, signifying 27.9 per cent of the whole during the period.
The overall imports for Q2 resulted in N4.02 trillion, reflecting a 10.69 per cent dip, but an increase of just 0.39 per cent year-on-year.
The year’s import value was N8.52 trillion or 10.58 per cent over the scorecard of the first six months of 2019.The fall in value of import in the reviewed quarter, according to the NBS, was attributable to falling mineral fuels (N1.03 trillion or 82.35 per cent), machinery and transport equipment (N147.2 billion or 8.43 per cent) and miscellaneous manufactured articles (N157.5 billion or 47.94 per cent).
The structure of imports under the category showed that machinery and transport equipment raked in N1.59 trillion or 39.7 per cent, followed by chemicals and related products, valued at N776.3 billion or 19.30 per cent, and food and live animals worth N648.6 billion or 16.1 per cent.
During the period, Nigeria imported goods mainly from Asia, valued at N2.12 trillion or 52.8 per cent. Goods from Europe took N1.07 trillion or 26.6 per cent, while those of America and Africa got N605.2 billion or 15 per cent and N174 billion or 4.3 per cent.