Trade deficit increases by $8.805bn in 1Q

The nation’s trade deficit widened in the first quarter of 2021, rising by 1094.2 per cent.

Trade deficit increased by $8.805 billion to $9.61 billion in the first quarter of this year from $804.71 million reported in the same period of 2020.

It could recall that before now Nigeria traditionally export more than it imports and usually enjoys a balance of trade surplus because of high oil prices and revenue.

But in the recent times with oil price crashing, Nigeria had started running a balance of trade deficit as imports are greater than exports.

Financial analysts believed that the recent spike in oil prices has raised hopes for a return to the trade surplus era and that was why the surprise swing of first quarter merchandize trade to a deficit of $9.61 billion caught the market napping.

They are still optimistic and project that the balance of trade will return into sur plus of $3.6 billion in the year 2022.

They pointed out that the first quarter deficit of $9.61 billion will be more than compensated by the higher oil price currently at standing at $72 per barrel.

Chief Executive Officer Financual Derivative Company, Bismark Rewane said that the naira which weekend in the parallel forex markets to N502 to a dollar expected to recover in the third quarter towards a fair value of N470-480 to a dollar because of the currency adjustment and an expected decline in demand for imported goods while Nigeria import bill is currently at $63.8 billion.