Agric Export Declines, Import Rises To N532.4bn

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has revealed that total value of imported agricultural goods stood at N532.4bn while exported goods stood at N55.8bn in the fourth quarter of 2020.

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According to the figures, the value of imported agricultural goods rose by 5.75 per cent to N532.4bn in Q4, 2020 from N503.4bn in Q3, 2020.

However, the value of exported agricultural goods fell by eight per cent to N55.8bn in Q4, 2020 from N60.6bn in Q3, 2020.

Part of the report read, “The value of total trade in agricultural goods in Q4, 2020 stood at N588.2bn representing 6.45 per cent of total trade in Q4, 2020.

“Export of agricultural goods was valued at N55.8bn or 1.75 per cent of total exports in Q4 2020.

“Compared to N60.6bn recorded in Q3 2020, the value of agricultural exports fell by eight per cent and by 18.2 per cent when compared to the corresponding quarter in 2019.”

It stated that during the quarter, most agricultural products were exported to Asia (valued at N43.4bn) and Europe (valued at N9.4bn).

Export of agricultural products was dominated by sesame seeds (valued at N27.3bn), good fermented cocoa beans (valued at N6.7bn) and sesame oil and fractions (N4.4bn).

The report said sesame seeds worth N18.1bn were exported to China and N4bn to Japan.

Good fermented cocoa beans worth N1.4bn was exported to the Netherlands and N1.3bn to Indonesia.

“With regards to imports, agricultural goods valued at N532.4bn were imported in Q4 2020 compared to N503.4bn in Q3, 2020, an increase of 5.75 per cent,” it stated.

The major agriculture imports in Q4 2020 included durum wheat (not in seeds) worth N62.9bn imported from Russia, Lithuania (N55.3bn), the United States (N54.6bn) and Canada (N51.8bn).

Herrings (fish) valued at N14.8bn were imported from the Netherlands while Russia accounted for N6.62bn worth of the product.

The report also said palm oil worth N22bn was imported from Malaysia.

At the recent Monetary Policy Committee meeting, The Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, while presenting the committee’s report, decried the impact of insecurity on its interventions efforts, most especially in the agriculture sector.

While the bank was intervening significantly in the agricultural sector, he said, “the rising insecurity in some food producing areas is limiting the expected outcomes in terms of supply to the market, thus contributing to the rise in food prices.

Emefiele added, “The MPC reiterated its concerns on the activities of persons and groups causing security challenges in the food producing areas of the country, as this has contributed to the major uptick in food prices across the country.

“The committee, thus called for a collaborative and coordinated efforts by all the relevant agencies and stakeholders towards addressing the prevailing insecurity issues and social challenges.”