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2024: Nigeria foreign trade surplus hits N6.52trn in first quarter 

Latest statistics by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows that Nigeria’s foreign trade statistics for the first quarter of 2024 reveals a significant trade surplus of N6.52 trillion.

The trade surplus recorded for Q1 2024 is a record high, according to data dating back to 2009.

This is a significant recovery from the N1.41 trillion trade deficit recorded in the previous quarter (Q4 2023) and the N927.2 billion in the same period in the first quarter of 2023.  The closest was N5.74 trillion recorded in the fourth quarter of 2011, according to available data.

According to the NBS report, total exports for the first quarter of 2024 were valued at N19.17 trillion, representing a 51.00 per cent increase from the previous quarter’s N12.69 trillion and a 195.47 per cent rise from N6.49 trillion recorded in the first quarter of 2023.

France was Nigeria’s largest export partner in Q1 2024, accounting for 11.09 per cent of total exports. The trade relationship between the two countries has been bolstered by France’s demand for Nigerian crude oil and liquefied natural gas, which are the primary exports to the European nation.

Spain followed closely, representing 10.56 per cent of Nigeria’s total exports. Similar to France, Spain’s imports from Nigeria largely consist of crude oil and liquefied natural gas, underlining the strong energy trade ties between Nigeria and the European Union.

With 8.85 percent of Nigeria’s total exports, the Netherlands is another key European trading partner. The country’s significant import of Nigerian crude oil and agricultural products like cocoa beans affirms its strategic trade relationship with Nigeria.

India accounted for 8.41 per cent of Nigeria’s total exports. The trade with India is heavily dominated by crude oil, which forms the backbone of the bilateral trade relationship. Additionally, India imports agricultural products such as sesamum seeds from Nigeria.

The United States was responsible for 6.84 per cent of Nigeria’s total exports in the first quarter of 2024. The trade relationship primarily revolves around the export of crude oil and other energy products, alongside agricultural commodities.

Crude oil exports, which constituted 80.80 per cent of total exports, were valued at N15.49 trillion. This marks a 50.20 per cent increase from N10.31 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2023 and a remarkable 200.79 per cent rise from N5.15 trillion in the first quarter of 2023.

Agricultural exports also saw significant growth, amounting to N1.04 trillion, up by 123.08 per cent from N463.97 billion in the fourth quarter of  2023 and by 270.13 per cent from N279.64 billion in the first quarter of 2023.