Nigeria’s Q2 foreign trade surplus rises 12% q/q on strong oil exports before slump

By bne IntelliNews November 17, 2014

Nigeria’s foreign trade surplus increased by 11.6% q/q to NGN2.705trn ($15.9bn) in the second quarter thanks to surging crude oil exports, data from the country’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed. Compared to the same period last year, Q2’s trade surplus was 26.1% higher.

Nigeria’s total exports rose 25.1% y/y to NGN4.68trn in Q2, speeding up from a 15% y/y growth in Q1. Africa’s biggest oil producer exported NGN3.27trn worth of crude oil in Q2, up 20.6% y/y versus a 6.7% y/y growth in Q1. At the same time, the y/y growth of non-oil exports decelerated sharply to 36% from 75%.

Oil exports are an important indicator for Nigeria, as they account for about 70% of government revenues. The second quarter was good for the country’s oil sector, as it expanded by 5.4% y/y, recording its first growth since Q2 2012, with the average daily crude oil production up 4.7% y/y to 2.21mbpd, reflecting the increased efforts by the authorities to tackle widespread pipeline vandalism and oil theft. In addition, the average US dollar price of crude rose 7.6% y/y to $112.25 in Q2.

However, the prospects are not encouraging, given the recent slump in oil prices and recent data, which showed that the sector contracted by 3.6% y/y in Q3 as output fell 4.9% y/y to 2.15mbpd. On November 16, Nigeria’s finance minister revised down the previously proposed benchmark of $78 per barrel of oil for the 2015 budget to $73 per barrel, suggesting lower oil exports and lower government revenues.

Imports to the West African country jumped 24% y/y to NGN1.98trn in Q2 reversing a 6.2% y/y decline in Q1. Most of the imports came from China, 21.5% of the total, followed by the US (11.9%), the Netherlands (7%), Belgium (6.3%) and India (5.9%).

Most of Nigeria’s exports went to India, 11.8% of the total, followed by Spain (11%), the Netherlands (9.6%), Brazil (8.8%), and the UK (6.5%).

Compared to the previous quarter, Q2’s exports were 18% higher and imports were 28% higher.

Nigeria’s current account surplus, which is highly dependent on oil receipts, fell to 3.9% of GDP in 2013 from 7.3% in 2012, according to central bank data. It surplus shrank further to 1.1% of GDP at end-June, reflecting also the GDP revision, which boosted the size of the economy by 90%.

  Q2 2014, NGN bn Q1 2014, NGN bn Q2 2013, NGN bn Q2 2014, y/y Q1 2014, y/y Q2 2014, q/q
Exports 4,682.2 3,969.5 3,742.9 25.1% 15.0% 18.0%
--crude oil 3,268.8 3,233.6 2,709.4 20.6% 6.7% 1.1%
--non crude oil 1,413.4 735.9 1,033.5 36.8% 74.6% 92.1%
Imports 1,977.2 1,545.4 1,598.2 23.7% -6.2% 27.9%
Trade balance 2,705.0 2,424.0 2,144.7 26.1% 34.3% 11.6%
Source: NBS            

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