The total value of Nigeria’s merchandise trade in the first quarter of this year rose to N7,211.61 billion, representing 35.07 percent growth from the N5,339.24 billion value recorded in the first quarter of last year.

This year’s Q1 value also indicated a 19.74 percent growth from the N6,022.93 billion value recorded in the last quarter of last year.

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in its Foreign Trade Statistics Q1, 2018 Report published today, attributed the strong growth of total trade in the reviewed quarter mainly to the strong increase in export.

According to the report, Nigeria’s trade balance in Q1, 2018 was a surplus of N2,175.08 billion, which is a 20.95percent increase from exports.

The agency reported that during the quarter under review, he export value for Agricultural goods rose to N73.24 billion, representing a 63.84 percent higher value than the value of N44.70 billion recorded in the fourth quarter of last year and 24.01 percent higher than the N59.06 billion value recorded in Q1, 2017.

The Bureau disclosed that raw material exports value decreased by 13.62 percent in Q1, 2018, totaling N32.70 billion compared to the N37.85 billion recorded in the last quarter of 2017 but increased by 47.71 percent when compared to the N22.13 billion export value recorded in the corresponding period of last year.

The NBS reported further: “Solid Minerals exports value in Q1 2018 (N26.92 billion) recorded a 12.96% quarter on quarter growth (N23.83 billion), and a 58.50% year on year growth rate compared to Q1, 2017 (N16.98 billion).

“The value of Energy goods exported in Q1, 2018 (N10.39 billion) was 8.8% higher than that of Q4, 2017 (N9.55 billion) and 16.5% higher than the value in Q1, 2017 (N8.92 billion).

“Manufactured goods exports in Q1 2018 (N434.37 billion) saw significant growth by 684.11% over the previous quarter (N55.39 billion), and by 576.90% when compared to Q1, 2017 (N64.17 billion).

“The value of Crude Oil exports recorded in Q1, 2018 (N3,580.01 billion) was 10% higher than the value in Q4, 2017 (N3,251.61 billion) and 50.74% higher than the value in Q1, 2017 (N2,374.94 billion)”, the Bureau added.

The NBS stated that other oil products exports in Q1, 2018 amounting to N535.8 billion also grew steadily in the reviewing quarter, with a 10.53 percent growth from Q4, 2017 totalling N484.65 billion and a 15.92 percent growth from the value of N462.10 billion recorded in Q1, 2017.

It noted that total export value amounted to N4,693.34 billion in the quarter under review, representing a significant growth of 20.02 percent over the N3,910.62 billion recorded in Q4, 2017 and 56.01 percent over the N3,008.33 billion reported in the corresponding quarter of last year..

The agency noted further that the quarter under review remained the first quarter in two years that the trade balance exceeded N2,000 billion.