Uptick in trade surplus for Q2

The latest data from the NBS in its report on foreign trade in goods for Q2 2018 show the total value of trade as N6.57trn, representing a decline of -9% on the preceding quarter. Compared with Q1, the total export value dipped by -5% q/q to N4.46trn, and the import value declined by -16% q/q to N2.11trn. However, a surplus of N2.36trn (US$7.7bn) was achieved, representing a q/q increase of 8%. These customs data generally tell a different story to the BoP series from the CBN.                                                                                                         

  • From the bureau’s commentary we note a considerable decline in raw material imports of -8.3% q/q and -14.2% y/y. Local substitution has picked up in recent quarters and may help to explain the decline.
  • Despite the FGN’s economic diversification strategy, crude oil gulped the largest share of exports again, representing 82% of total exports in the quarter. The value of crude oil exports rose by 4.2% q/q and 54% y/y. However, oil production activity slowed in Q2 2018 due to the shutdown of numerous pipelines and maintenance programmes: this was mirrored in the Q2 national accounts, also released by the NBS (Good Morning Nigeria, 28 August 2018).
  • The y/y increase in the value of crude oil exports can be linked to the surge in oil prices. The current oil price level of c.US$70/b is significantly higher than the US$50/b average recorded in the corresponding period of the previous year.
Sales and demand at FGN bond auctions (N bn)

Sources: Debt Management Office (DMO); FBNQuest Capital Research


  • In the quarter under review, Nigeria exported goods valued at N109bn to other African countries; exports to ECOWAS members accounted for just 13% of this figure. When we consider the ongoing conversations around membership of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the underperformance seen in regional export activity makes it difficult to buy-into the narrative in favour of the area.
  • Nigeria is yet to sign and some important stakeholders remains opposed. There are currently 49 out of 55 possible signatures.



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