In the first quarter of 2024, Nigeria’s trade performance showed a robust surplus, heavily influenced by the country’s crude oil exports. According to the latest foreign goods trade data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), crude oil exports accounted for a significant 80.80% of Nigeria’s total export figure.

The NBS report revealed that crude oil exports were valued at N15,486.63 billion in Q1 2024. This substantial figure highlights the continued dominance of crude oil in Nigeria’s export economy. Conversely, non-crude oil exports stood at N3,680.73 billion, making up 19.20% of total exports. Within the non-crude oil exports, non-oil products contributed N1,778.85 billion, representing 9.28% of the total export value.

In summary, Nigeria’s total exports for the first quarter of 2024 amounted to N19,167.36 billion. This strong export performance outpaced the country’s import figure, which stood at N12,643.23 billion for the same period. The positive trade balance underscores a trade surplus for Nigeria in the quarter under review.

The report from the NBS stated: “Exports trade in the first quarter of 2024 was dominated by crude oil exports valued at N15,486.63 billion, representing 80.80% of total exports, while the value of non-crude oil exports stood at N3,680.73 billion, accounting for 19.20% of total exports; of which non-oil products contributed N1,778.85 billion, or 9.28% of total exports.”

This trade surplus follows a similar trend observed in the previous quarter (Q4 2023), where Nigeria also recorded a trade surplus as exports outweighed imports. The strong performance in crude oil exports continues to be a critical driver of the country’s trade dynamics, reinforcing the importance of the oil sector in Nigeria’s economy.

However, the reliance on crude oil for such a large portion of export revenues also highlights the need for diversification in the country’s export base. Increasing the contribution of non-oil products could provide more stability and sustainability for Nigeria’s trade and economic health.

As Nigeria moves forward, the government and stakeholders are likely to focus on strategies to bolster non-oil exports and reduce the country’s dependency on crude oil. Such diversification efforts will be crucial for achieving long-term economic growth and stability.

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