Nigeria’s Q3 trade deficit hits N2.38trn — highest in 3 years

Mary Ugbodaga

Nigeria’s trade deficit rose by 32.45 percent from N1.8 trillion in the second quarter of 2020 to N2.38 trillion in the third quarter.

This is according to the ‘Foreign Trade in Goods Statistics Q3 2020’ report released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Monday.

The trade deficit figure is the highest since 2017.

The report showed that Nigeria’s merchandise trade value increased by 34.15 percent to N8.37 trillion in Q3 2020 compared to Q2 2020 but declined to 8.85 percent compared to Q3 2019.


The total trade year-to-date amounted to N23.20 trillion. Whereas, Nigeria’s import was valued at N5.38 trillion representing an increase of 33.77 percent in Q3 2020 against the level recorded in Q2 2020 and 38.02 percent compared to Q3 2019.

Nigeria’s export component increased by 34.85 percent to N2.99 trillion in Q3 2020 compared to Q2 2020, however, it decreased by 43.41 percent compared to Q3 2019.

According to the report, the value of imports in Q3 2020 represented the highest level for any quarter since 2017, while the value of exports in Q3 2020 represented the lowest level of any quarter since 2017.


“Due to lower exports and higher imports compared to 2019, the trade balance recorded a deficit of N2.38 trillion during the third quarter. This also represents the widest merchandise trade deficit since 2017,” the report read.

The major trading partners in Q3 2020 export trade include India (16.73 percent); Spain (10.97 percent); Netherlands (7.61 percent); South Africa (6.81 percent); and Turkey (5.01 percent).

Meanwhile, the major trading partners in Q3 2020 import trade include China (30.51 percent); USA (8.96 percent); Netherlands (8.24 percent); India (6.58 percent); Belgium (3.95 percent).

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