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Nigeria Suffers $1.4Bn Merchandise Trade Deficit In August

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reported that Nigeria recorded $1.4 billion trade deficit in August this year as earnings from non-oil exports dipped by 11 percent or $32 billion during the month.

The deficit balance of trade value by the Nigeria came amidst improved value of external trade by 12 percent to $5.8 billion, from $5.1 billion value recorded in the preceding month.

The apex bank, in its latest Monthly Economic Report for August 2020 stated: “A higher trade deficit of $1.39 billion was recorded in August 2020, compared with $0.88 billion in July 2020, on account of increased business activities amidst relaxation of restrictions imposed during the lockdown.

The value of aggregate external trade increased by 12.1 percent to $5.7 billion in August 2020 compared with $5.08 billion in July 2020, as a result of increased export volumes. It, however, indicated a decline of 46 percent, below the $10.5 billion in the corresponding period of 2019.

“Following the improvement in economic activities as the global economy gradually reopened, data showed that exports increased by 2.5 percent to $2.2 billion over its level in July 2020, due largely to improvements in crude oil prices in the international oil market.

“Similarly, merchandise imports increased to $3.20 billion in August 2020.

“Relative improvements in crude oil prices and production resulted in an increase in crude oil exports by 10 percent to $1.6 billion in August 2020, compared with $1.44 billion in July 2020”, the report added.

The apex bank stated that, however, oil exports value declined by 60.6 percent, relative to the $4.01 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2019.

This is even as the report indicated that closure of the country’s borders resulted in an 11 percent decline in value of non-oil exports to $32 million from $36 million in the preceding month.

The report further stated:” Despite the gradual pick-up of economic activities, the Nigerian borders remained closed, resulting in a decrease in the value of non-oil exports by 11 percent to $0.32 billion in August 2020, compared with $0.36 billion in July 2020.”

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