The country spent N212.73 billion on imported agricultural products in fourth quarter of last year (Q4 2016), the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) stated yesterday.
Nigeria’s total value of external Merchandise Trade rose to N5.28 trillion, helped by rising export in Q4 compared to N4.78 trillion in the previous quarter.
Though total import fell to N2.31 trillion in Q4, representing 6.1 per cent decrease from N2.46 trillion in Q3, imported agricultural goods grew by 1.7 per cent more than Q3 estimates.
The increased spending on imported agricultural products came at a time of increasing campaign for import substitution in the country to among others, ease the pressure on the local currency and preserve the foreign reserves.
According to the Merchandise Trade Intensity Index/Re-Exports report for Q4, which was released yesterday, imported raw materials goods further gulped N309.26 billion in the period under review.
According to the NBS, imported manufactured goods nevertheless, were 75 per cent higher than the value recorded in Q3.
Nigeria exported goods mainly to India, Netherlands, the United States, Spain and South Africa, whose values stood at N475.6 billion or 16.0%, N334.2 billion or 11.2 per cent, N317.2 billion or 10.6 per cent, N286.8 billion or 9.6 per cent, and N160.4 billion or 5.4 per cent respectively in Q4 2016.
According to the statistical agency, the country’s export intensity in October, November and December 2016 was highest for South Africa with export intensities 8.9, 7.3 and 4.1 respectively. Export intensity for Q4 was also intense with India with export intensities of 5.8, 5.8 and 1.7 for the last three months of 2016.
The country’s import intensity with China, its major trading partner in that regard throughout 2016 was 11, 08 and 0.5 in Q4.