Nigeria’s foreign trade balance leapfrogged to a surplus of $1.1 billion in Q4 2021, as export value surpassed import bill for the first time since Q3 2019, representing 8 consecutive quarters of negative trade balance.
This is according to data on foreign trade obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
According to the data, Nigeria’s international trade balance increased significantly from a deficit of $327 million recorded in the previous quarter to $1.1 billion in Q4 2021. Similarly, when compared to the corresponding period of the previous year, Nigeria’s trade balance increased by 115% from $7.57 billion deficit recorded in Q4 2020.
Meanwhile, the aggregate trade balance for the year 2021 still lies in the negative region at $6.49 billion, although better than the $21.37 billion negative balance recorded in the preceding year.
A further breakdown of the data from the apex bank, showed that export earnings dropped marginally by 3.5% from $13.42 billion recorded in Q3 2021 to $12.95 billion in Q4 2021, while import bill reduced by 13.8% from $13.74 billion to $11.85 billion in the review period.
This implies that the positive trade balance was driven by a significant decline in import bill rather than an increase in export value.