External Trade in Goods fellto N32 trillion in 2020 on COVID-19 crisis; trade balance slipped into deficit in a space of 4 yearsNigeria’s external trade value fellby 10.5% to N32.4trillion in full-year (FY) 2020from N36.2trillion in 2019. The sudden outbreak of COVID-19 and the ensuing lockdown restrictions implemented across countries in most parts of 2020 weakened the volume and value of external trade in favour of Nigeria. Meanwhile, on a quarterly basis, external trade showedsome improvements, particularlyin the last two quarters of 2020,due to the lifting of ban on domestic and international flights, as well as, the ease oflockdown restrictionsin the country(see Figure 1 in attached document).
In spite of the pandemic-induced disruptions to global supply chains, growth in imports outpaced that of exports in the four quarters of 2020 (seeFigure2). Consequently, Nigeria’s trade balanceposition was indeficit throughout the four quarters of the year 2020(seeFigure 3), with the overall trade deficit for FY’2020 estimated at N7.4 trillion, compared with a tradesurplus of N2.2 trillion recorded in 2019. The trade deficit recorded in 2020 is Nigeria’s second unfavourabletrade balance since 2016.
Oil and Non-Oil ExportEarningsplummeted in 2020The total value of goods exportedplungedby 34.9% to N12.5trillion in FY’2020 from N19.2trillion in 2019. This could be attributed to lower oil andnon-oil export earnings. Oil exports –which maintained a significant share in total export earnings –nosedivedby 33.5% to N11.1 trillionin 2020 from N16.7 trillionin 2019. This huge decline was largely due to weak oil prices coupled with lower domestic crude oil production in compliance with OPEC’s output cut deal. On the other hand, non-oil exports –which accounted for 11% of total export earnings in 2020 fellto N1.4 trillion in 2020 from N2.5 trillion in 2019.