By John Ofikhenua, Abuja

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Tuesday revealed the annual merchandise trade deficit in 2020 was recorded at -N7,375.3billion.

According to its Foreign Trade in Goods Statistics Q4 2020 that The Nation obtained from Abuja, the value of total imports in 2020 stood at N19, 898.0billion or 17.3 per cent higher than in

2019 while total export was valued at N12, 522.7 billion or 34.8 per cent less than in 2019.

The document explained that the predominant export remained crude oil, which was valued at N2, 424.8billion, representing 81.02 per cent of total exports while non-crude oil was valued at N568.2billion or 18.98 per cent of total export during the review period.

NBS disclosed on an annual basis, total trade was valued at N32, 420.7 billion in 2020 or 10.3 per cent less than the value recorded in 2019.

It added that the value of total imports in 2020 stood at N19, 898.0billion or 17.3 per cent higher than in 2019, “while total exports was valued at N12,522.7billion, or 34.8 per cent less than in 2019. The annual merchandise trade deficit in 2020 was recorded at -N7,375.3billion”.

In the period under review, NBS noted that major export trading partners and percentage share in Q4, 2020 export trade India was 17.12 per cent, Spain 9.81 per cent, South Africa 8.03 percent, Netherlands 6.09 per cent and the United States 5.30 per cent.

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The data noted in the Q4, 2020, Nigeria’s merchandise trade grew sharply due to faster increase in imports but slower recovery in exports.

Continuing, the NBS said total trade was 8.9 per cent in Q4 2020 but 9.9 per cent lower than the value recorded in Q4 2019.

On annual basis, according to the data, total Trade was 10.3 per cent lower in 2020 that the value recorded in 2019.

The document explained the value of raw material imports grew marginally by 0.75 per cent in Q4,2020 compared to Q3, 2020 but was 113.12 per cent higher compared to Q4, 2019. For 2020, the value of raw material imports was 72.5 per cent higher than the value recorded in 2019.

It noted that the value of total imports rose by 10.1 per cent in Q4, 2020 compared to Q3,2020 and 10.77 per cent compared to Q4,2019.

It said for 2020, the value of total imports was 17.3 per cent higher than the value recorded in 2019.

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