It emerged at the weekend that China is now Nigeria’s leading source of imported goods with an import value of $1.6 billion (N478 billion) equivalent to 20 per cent of Nigeria’s total imports.This is, according to the merchandise trade data released by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in its latest foreign trade statistics for the third quarter of 2016.
According to the NBS data, Belgium emerged the second largest source of imports in the review period, with an import value of $1.1 billion (N331billion).
The NBS data put the total value of trade at N4.72 trillion, representing an increase of 16 per cent on the preceding quarter.The data, however, showed a trade deficit of N104 billion, which compared with N482 billion in the second quarter of 2016.
Analysts at FBN Quest noted that the increase in imports in a recession in the first three quarters of last year was due to the weakness of the naira exchange rate.
Analysis of the NBS data showed that total exports stood at N2.31 trillion in Q3 last year while the total value of imports was N2.41trillion. This represented increases of 29 per cent Quarter-on-Quarter (Q/Q) and 6 per cent q/q respectively.
A further analysis of the NBS report showed that the value of imports from other African countries amounted to $290 million (N88 billion)