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Fuel, foods lead as imports hit N12tn

by John Ojewale
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In the first quarter of 2024, Nigerians imported the most refined petroleum products and agricultural food, according to a recent data from the National Bureau of Statistics.

This came as total imports for Q1 2024 reached N12.64 trillion, up 39.65 percent from N9.05 trillion in Q4 2023 and 95.53 percent from N6.47 trillion in Q1 2023.

While factories imported N1.5 trillion in raw materials, people paid N920.54 billion to bring in agricultural commodities, according to the NBS’s Foreign Trade Statistics, released on Sunday.

“The share of total imports accounted for 39.75 per cent of total trade in the first quarter of 2024 with the value of imports amounting to N12.64tn in Q1, 2024. This value indicates an increase of 39.65 per cent over the value recorded in Q4 2023 (N9.05tn) and rose by 95.53 per cent compared to the value recorded in Q1 2023 (N6.46tn). The merchandise trade balance for Q1 2024 stood positive at N6.5tn,” the NBS study stated.

According to the NBS, China is Nigeria’s largest trading partner in terms of imports, accounting for 23.18 percent of total imports. Other major import partners included India (8.46%), the United States (7.98%), Belgium (7.56%), and the Netherlands (4.68%).

It stated that agricultural items imported were valued at N920.54 billion, a 29.45% increase from N711.14 billion in Q4 2023 and a 95.28% increase from N471.39 billion in Q1 2023.

Similarly, manufacturers’ raw material imports totaled N1.47 trillion, up 51.78 percent from N966.80 billion in Q4 2023 and 164.18 percent from N555.47 billion in Q1 2023.

Key imported goods were motor spirit, petrol oil, durum wheat, cane sugar for sugar refining and other liquefied petroleum gases.

The report said:

“In the first quarter of 2024, China ranked highest among the top trading partners on the import side, followed by India, United States of America, Belgium, and The Netherlands. The most traded commodities were motor spirit ordinary, gas oil, durum wheat (Not in seeds), cane sugar meant for sugar refinery, and other liquefied petroleum gases and other gaseous hydrocarbons.

“The value of agricultural goods imported in Q1 2024 was N920.54bn, reflecting an increase of 29.45 per cent when compared to N711.14bn in Q4 2023, and a 95.28 per cent rise compared to N471.39bn in Q1 2023.

“In Q1 2024, raw material imports were valued at N1,467.41 billion. This represents a 51.78 per cent increase from N966.80 billion in Q4 2023 and a significant rise of 164.18 per cent from N555.47bn in Q1 2023.

“In the first quarter of 2024, solid mineral imports were valued at N71.38bn. This represents a 21.15 per cent increase from N58.92bn in Q4 2023 and a 59.23 per cent increase from N44.83bn in Q1 2023.”

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cc: Punch Ng

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