Nigeria, UK trade volume declines despite naira devaluation

Nigeria’s total trade with the United Kingdom has plummeted by 25 per cent in the first quarter of 2024, dropping from N602.36 billion in the first quarter of 2023 to N452.45 billion in the first quarter of 2024 despite the higher value realised from the naira devaluation.

According to the recent foreign trade statistics report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), this represents a significant year-on-year (Y-o-Y) decline of 25 per cent.  When compared to the previous first quarter of 2023 where the total trade was N522.79 billion, there is a quarter-on-quarter (Q-o-Q) decrease of 14 per cent.

A closer look at the data reveals that both imports and exports have experienced declines. Nigeria’s imports from the UK decreased from N186.99 billion in the fourth quarter of 2023 to N183.34 billion in the first quarter of 2024, marking a 2 per cent Q-o-Q decline. However, year-on-year, the imports increased by 25 per cent, up from N146.88 billion in the first quarter of 2023.

The export value fell from N335.8 billion in the fourth quarter of 2023 to N268.11 billion in the first quarter of 2024, showing a 20 per cent Q-o-Q decrease. On a year-on-year basis, exports plummeted by 41 per cent, down from N455.48 billion in the first quarter of 2023.

The UK was a major destination for re-exports, as the NBS data shows that N43.49 million interchangeable tools; N2 million articles of iron/steel; N1.97 billion treating metal; N2.18 million machines for voice, images or data; and N1.45 million household articles were re-exported in the first quarter of 2024.